See also : Art by women ca 1960 British Royals Autograph Gold coins White diamond Sport memorabilia Sport document Origins of sports Basketball Photo
Chronology : 1926 1983 2007
1891 Ball and Basket for Indoor Sport
2010 SOLD 4.3 M$ including premium
By design, it is not a rough sport. The idea of the inventor, the Canadian James Naismith, was to occupy without risk of injury the sportsmen in winter, when weather conditions do not allow to play baseball or football.
The elevated position of the baskets gives a specific interest to this sport that does not invite to physical contact. One can argue whether similar sports existed before basketball and inspired Naismit. No matter: the basketball based on his thirteen rules has become one of the most popular sports due to the simplicity of its required equipment.
Naismith had typed these thirteen rules, in two sheets that he modified by hand writing and signed. His family, who had kept this precious document, sells it at Sotheby's in New York on December 10 for the benefit of a Canadian foundation that spreads the ideals of sportsmanship of the inventor. The photo of these pages is shared by Artdaily.
It is clear that this lot is highly important in the history of sport. The auction house devoted a separate catalog to it, and expects $ 2M.
POST SALE COMMENT
The invention of basketball is really a major act of modern history, one of those advances that have impacted the lives and behavior of millions of people. The document was sold for $ 4.3 million including premium.
I invite you to play the video shared on the web by Sotheby's :
1926 The Timeless Mountain of Lawren Harris
2016 SOLD for $ 11.2M CAD including premium
He executes drawings that he will transfer into increasingly large oil paintings while eliminating any unnecessary detail, resulting in a symphony in blue and white. The white of snow and ice is for this theosopher an oracle of purity in communion with the blue sky.
1926 marks the accession to the maturity for this artist in his simplifying illumination. A small oil sketch 30 x 38 cm on board preparing his great composition of the Old Stump, Lake Superior, was sold for CAD 3.5 million including premium by Heffel on November 26, 2009.
In the same year the hiker is dazzled by the perfect triangle of Mount Ishbel between Banff and Lake Louise. He has found his Sphinx. Once isolated from the neighboring mountains, Ishbel displays a towering symmetry. The bottom-up view leads the eyes to the smooth colors of wood and rock before reaching the sparkling summit.
Harris named this view Mountain Form without locating it, so confirming that he has met his ineffable truth. In a more Humboldtian approach, the title later became Mountain Forms. This oil on canvas 152 x 178 cm is estimated beyond CAD 3M for sale by Heffel in Toronto on November 23, lot 118 subject of a dedicated press release.
The artist continues his philosophical quest and his hiking. Mountain and glacier, oil on canvas 74 x 89 cm painted in 1930, was sold for CAD 4.6 million including premium by Heffel on 26 November 2015 over a lower estimate of CAD 1M.
1952-1953 The Colored Impasto of Jean-Paul Riopelle
2017 SOLD for $ 7.4M CAD including premium
He immersed himself in 1947 in the artistic and intellectual theories of the Paris group around André Breton and developed a gestural technique free of will and psychology. An attempt to re-inject these anti-bourgeois conceptions in Montreal was unconvincing and he settled permanently in Paris in December 1948.
Riopelle covers his canvas with an impasto of vibrant colors crossed by white scars. The paint reaches a considerable thickness which the artist describes as an unintended consequence of his creative act : as long as he is not satisfied with the visual balance of his work, he adds colored materials with his knife.
Such abstract perfectionism applied on the whole surface of the canvas made Riopelle being compared with Pollock and greatly contributed to his international fame.
Around 1955 the artist finds a solution to work in thinner layers. His art then loses its most innovative characteristic that had moved the boundary between painting and sculpture.
An oil on canvas 120 x 200 cm painted in 1951-1952 was sold for € 1,86M including premium by Christie's on June 1, 2012. On May 24 in Toronto, Heffel sells Vent du Nord, oil on canvas 130 x 195 cm painted in 1952-1953, lot 19 estimated CAD $ 1M.
1954 The Trowel of the Trapper
2018 SOLD for € 4.3M including premium
He alternates brilliant and saturated colors on the canvas, creating blobs, scars and reflections that appear differently when the observer changes his position, simulating the wind that shakes the leaves. Like Pollock, he sees himself as an interpreter of nature and refuses to consider his art as abstract.
A superb symphony of colors titled Vent du Nord painted in 1952-1953, 130 x 195 cm, was sold on May 24, 2017 for $ 7.1M CAD including premium by Heffel over a lower estimate of $ 1M CAD.
The forest remains the ultimate goal of this artist whom Breton nicknamed the Trappeur Supérieur. With spots of light emerging amidst the muted colors, La Forêt, 130 x 195 cm painted in 1953, was sold for € 2.04M including premium by Sotheby's on December 9, 2015 over a lower estimate of € 900K.
Like Rothko, Riopelle knows that the large size invites to immersion. An untitled 200 x 300 cm oil on canvas painted in 1953 was sold for € 4.9M including premium by Christie's on December 5, 2017 over a lower estimate of € 1.5M. In the same dimensions, Forestine, painted in 1954 in the same style as La Forêt, is estimated € 2.5M for sale by Sotheby's in Paris on December 5, lot 9.
1964 The Beach by Agnes Martin
2013 SOLD for $ 6.5M including premium by Sotheby's
1965 Orange Grove by Agnes Martin
2016 SOLD for $ 10.7M including premium by Christie's
1965 Agnes Martin caught by the Desert
2007 SOLD for $ 4.7M including premium by Christie's
One can hardly imagine an artistic language simpler than that of Agnes Martin. She covers her canvases with a layer of monochrome acrylic, and she finishes the work by a regular grid in pencil. Like Rothko, it reaches the supremacy of abstract art: a painting by Agnes Martin must be for real, no reproduction can approach the effect offered by the original.
Qualifying herself to abstract expressionist, Martin wanted to express the perfection and eternity of nature. In 1965, while living in New York, she created The Desert, 183 x 183 cm, light beige. This woman from Saskatchewan had long taught in New Mexico. Fleeing New York, she will settle as early as 1967 in Taos, this small paradise for artists where we recently discussed a work by Fechin.
On May 12, Sotheby's sells the Desert in New York, with an estimate of $ 4 million. It had been sold for $ 4.7 million by Christie's on May 16, 2007.
Canada is proud to have given birth to Agnes Martin. Information about this lot was shared by the Montreal Gazette and by CBC News.
POST SALE COMMENT
Among the top lots, The Desert is the only disappointment of this extraordinary sale: unsold.
Yet in the same sale, a small painting from 1962 (27 x 27 cm) titled Kyrie has been sold $ 2.2 million including premium on a $ 600 K estimate. The grid clearly visible and reinforced with nails is a good example of the art of Agnes Martin.
1967 Seven Years of Meditation
2015 SOLD for $ 6.3M including premium
Her technique is perfectionist: on a canvas painted in monochrome oil, superseded after 1964 by acrylic, she draws a set of colored lines in a single repeating pattern from top to bottom, too thin for the naked eye but endlessly bringing a renewed richness of texture. This practice based on the parallels is somehow reminiscent of the highly aesthetic weaving of the primitive Navajo blankets.
The titles of her most accomplished works express the landscape. The Beach, 190 x 190 cm, painted in 1964, was sold for $ 6.5 million at Sotheby's on November 13, 2013. Desert, painted in 1965, was sold for $ 4.7 million by Christie's on May 16, 2007. Mountain II, painted in 1966, was sold for $ 4.5 million by Christie's at the same sale. These prices include the premium.
Agnes was active up to that point in the artistic life of New York, but 1967 marks a challenge to her fragile mental health. The fame that is reaching her is not suitable for her aspiration to discretion. The building where she has her studio is scheduled to be destroyed and her artistic mentor, Ad Reinhardt, younger to her by one year, dies unexpectedly.
Agnes Martin, aged 55, takes the road for a wandering life according to the hippie mood that will soon lead her to settle permanently in Taos. She stops painting for seven years.
On November 10 in New York, Christie's sells an acrylic, graphite and ink on canvas 183 x 183 cm painted in 1967, lot 13B estimated $ 5M. The title, Happy Valley, indicates a feeling and thus marks her need to resume her lost peace of mind. Although the exact day is not known and the artwork is not located, it is probably one of the last paintings made by Agnes Martin before her grand start to the unknown.
1983 The Very Long Road of Agnes Martin
2016 SOLD for $ 6.7M including premium
In the opposite, her life is a poignant fleeing from madness. She is subject to auditory hallucinations and catatonic trances and a paranoid schizophrenia has been diagnosed. In the big city, she forgets who and where she is, accepts exhibitions but rejects fame and catalogs. She once said that she is not a woman. It seems that her illness was aggravated by an upset homosexuality that she never confessed.
She decides in 1967 to go to the West. In her case, it is the best therapy. She lives alone without being actually isolated but refuses any help. In her wanderings in the desert she builds her own shelter huts. Old age will help Agnes to retrieve some social life but she deliberately ignores some usual aspects of it. She had never read a newspaper again.
From 1967 to 1974 she stopped painting. On November 15 in New York, Christie's sells an acrylic and graphite 183 x 183 cm made in the next phase of her career, in 1983, lot 13 A estimated $ 5M.
This untitled opus consists of ten identical gray rectangles, equidistant and of equal width on a lighter gray background whose brightness has been carefully crafted. Agnes remembered from Rothko both mysticism and rectangles but did not imitate him. Her rectangles display a perfect sharpness.
The art of Agnes Martin is minimalist without being simple. The difficulty for this demanding artist was to avoid what she names a dissonance between the aligned position of the ten rectangles and the strictly square format of the canvas.
1992 Dead Troops Talk by Jeff Wall
2012 SOLD for $ 3.7M including premium by Christie's
narrated in 2020
From 1977 the Canadian artist is installing his large-scale transparent photographs in front of lightboxes, as if they were in a bus shelter. In a first phase, he recreates complex perspectives, drawing inspiration among others from the Folies Bergères by Manet.
At the start of the 1990s, the development of digital imaging opens up new avenues, making it possible to use multiple photographs without their interfaces being perceptible. For example, he introduces human fragments into otherwise realistic images. Made in 1992, Adrian Walker drawing from a specimen in a laboratory, 119 x 164 cm, passed at Christie's on May 11, 2010.
Also in 1992, Dead Troops Talk was prepared as a documentary on contemporary warfare, in the style of trench photos brought back by soldiers during the First World War. The subtitle is detailed : A vision after an ambush of a Red Army patrol near Moqor, Afghanistan, winter 1986.
Unlike the Death of a Republican Soldier in the Spanish Civil War by Robert Capa, the author does not hide his staging. Soldiers with irreparable wounds turn into zombies to resume their derisory or grotesque activities in groups of two or three. The preparation was complex, including a wooden model for the battlefield and drawings defining the attitudes to be adopted by these talkative dead. The artist simulates a nightmare of war, without political intention.
Dead Troops Talk has been edited in two copies plus one artist's proof. Number 1, 230 x 420 cm, equipped with its lightbox, was sold for $ 3.7M including premium by Christie's on May 8, 2012 from a lower estimate of $ 1.5M, lot 27.
2007 Her Majesty's Bullion
2010 SOLD 3.27 M€ before fees
Gold bullion coins generally have a purity of 99.99%.
In 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint announces the launch of a product line to 99.999%. And as now the only way to get noticed is gigantism, they produce a coin with facial value of 1 million Canadian $. A small number of investors will then order similar parts.
The piece measures 53 cm in diameter, 3 cm thick, and weighs 100 kg. Chemists will appreciate this remarkable feat of engineering. The obverse is a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The reverse shows the emblem of Canada, three maple leaves. Its value to weight is approximately € 3.2 million.
The copy that was owned by an Austrian financial company is for sale by Dorotheum in Vienna on June 25. Exciting fate for this symbol of capitalism: the owner has gone bankrupt!
POST SALE COMMENT
This lot has been sold 3.27 million € before fees. This is the price of its metal value to weight, not surprisingly. The extreme purity of gold has not generated an added value.
2017 The Canadian Diamond
2020 SOLD for HK$ 122M including premium
Prospecting is no longer the result of chance. The diamond rises in the magma during a volcanic eruption. Its possible presence is revealed by the kimberlite, an igneous rock which serves to it as a gangue in the volcanic pipe after cooling.
Since the 1960s, De Beers has searched for kimberlite in Canada. From 2008 to 2019, they operated the open pit Victor Mine on the territory of the Attawapiskat First Nation in northern Ontario. On October 5 in Hong Kong, Sotheby's sells a perfect diamond named Victor 10239 at lot 1818 without a reserve price. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
The rough stone, mined in 2017, weighed 217 carats, possibly the largest pure diamond found at Victor. Diacore cut an oval brilliant with an excellent symmetry without going below the mythical threshold of 100 carats. It weighs 102.39 carats with the highest possible clarity and the D color of the highest transparency, and its chemical purity is the best, the Type IIa. The oval brilliant cut intensifies the transparency just like the round brilliant for smaller diamonds.
The perfect clarity is the Flawless, with no visible inclusion at x60 magnification. Internally Flawless represents the same inner clarity but admits some slight blemish on the surface.
We will compare it to an African diamond of the same brilliant oval shape, also Flawless, weighing 118.28 carats with the same certification of excellent polishing and excellent symmetry. It was sold for HK $ 240M including premium by Sotheby's on October 7, 2013, which is HK $ 2M per carat.
BID NOW! In an unprecedented move, this Highly Important 102.39 Carat D Colour Flawless Oval Diamond will be offered without reserve. Online bidding opens today and will culminate in a single-lot live auction at #SothebysHongKong on 5 Oct. Read more: https://t.co/tU1x8hoJan pic.twitter.com/XVTAhpCFsm— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) September 15, 2020