1850 Mount Desert
2023 SOLD for $ 6.1M by Sotheby's
Paralyzed in his legs since childhood, his career took place outside the artistic circles but he was not isolated. He became the best painter of marine scenery in New England and influenced William Bradford. His realistic topographic style with great care to detail was forgotten during the decades of Impressionism.
A view of Bar Island and Mount Desert Mountains from Somes Settlement, oil on canvas 51 x 76 cm painted in 1850, is one of his earliest paintings of Maine which he had just visited and sketched in a summer cruise. The disposition of boats at various distances creates a sense of depth.
It was sold for $ 6.1M from a lower estimate of $ 1M by Sotheby's on April 19, 2023, lot 49.
1853 Manchester Harbor
2004 SOLD for $ 5.5M by Skinner
This oil on canvas 61 x 91 cm painted in 1853 has some qualities of a Vernet with its animated foreground and its wide dynamic sky.
1850 The Star of Egypt
2023 SOLD for CHF 2.7M by Christie's
Its off white color is classified L with a faint fluorescence and its clarity is VS2. Its size is 29.86 x 27.92 x 17.61 mm and its gross weight is 21.1 grams.
The Star of Egypt was sold for CHF 2.7M from a lower estimate of CHF 2M by Christie's on May 17, 2023, lot 602.
1851 Washington crossing the Delaware by Leutze
2022 SOLD for $ 45M by Christie's
That epic moment was painted by the German-born Emanuel Leutze in the wake of the 1848 European events.
The tall General is straight standing at the bow with a foot on the edge, looking ahead with a stiff determination. The US flag in its 1777 Stars and Stripes version is floating in the wind behind the hero. The boat is populated by various officers and troops including a rowing Black man, a Scot and a rowing woman, highlighting the proud Washington as the father of the US nation as a whole.
Three paintings were executed by Leutze with his assistant Eastman Johnson. Made in 1850, the original version was destroyed in a World War II bombing. The second full scale 3.80 x 6.50 m canvas is housed by the Met Museum.
Prepared in 1851 in parallel with the Met example, the third piece on a reduced scale was commissioned by the Paris art editors Goupil and Vibert for an engraving. It was on loan at the White House from 1979 to 2014. This oil on canvas 102 x 173 cm was sold for $ 45M from a lower estimate of $ 15M by Christie's on May 12, 2022, lot 30C.
A pastiche painted by Robert Colescott in 1975 replacing the general by an African American scientist and the troops by a gang of joyful Negroes was sold for $ 15.3M by Sotheby's in 2021. Another pastiche painted in 2018 by Jon McNaughton features President Trump leading his team by night with an oil lamp.
1855 A Dangerous Javanese Game
2018 SOLD for € 9M including premium
The action of a great violence involves ferocious beasts, together or confronted with hunters on horseback. His bestiary is too varied to be relying from personal Javanese memories : lions, tigers, deer, buffalo, boar.
The composition seems directly inspired by the hunting scenes painted by Rubens around 1620, with a swirling and vividly colored center in which the protagonists are intertwined up to the limit of readability. Men and animals express exacerbated feelings of panic and horror.
When he is in France, Raden Saleh is in touch with Horace Vernet but his more flexible lines are inspired by the Dutch landscape learned from Schelfhout. The similarity of his ardor with Delacroix's romantic orientalism is obvious, but the hunts by Raden Saleh were conceived long before the 1854 commission to Delacroix by the Beaux-Arts for a lion hunt.
Raden Saleh returned to Java in 1852, bringing with him the notoriety he acquired in Europe. Like Rubens, he is using very large formats. Like what tradition said of Rubens, he also likes to include his self-portrait in full activity among the hunters.
An oil on canvas 110 x 180 cm dated 1855 titled La Chasse au taureau sauvage Banteng (Banteng wild bull hunting) has just surfaced in Brittany, in a basement where the owners had hidden it for several decades because they were uncomfortable with its violence. Minor misses are reported. It is estimated € 150K for sale by Ruellan in Vannes on January 27, lot 1. Please watch the video shared by Interencheres.
1855 The Parure by Bapst for Empress Eugénie
2014 SOLD for CHF 2.3M including premium
Eugénie was one of the greatest users of jewelry of her time. She rushes to the Crown Jewels of France that had not been dispersed and selects some of them for assembling new pieces.
Alfred Bapst then recovers the role played by his ancestors who had been jewelers to the Crown. In 1855, Eugénie commissions to Bapst a parure (ornament set) that will remain one of the most prestigious jewelry of her reign.
The parure realized by Bapst is composed of three elements: a guirlande (necklace), a tour de corsage (turn-of-bodice) to wear on the dress and a devant-de-corsage (pin-to-bodice brooch). The motifs of currant leafs (feuilles de groseillier) are made by a paving of ancient-cut diamonds mounted in silver and gold.
After the fall of the Empire, Eugénie's jewels were auctioned. Many of them have been disassembled due to the market value of their individual gems. The Bapst groseillier brooch remained however as is. It is estimated CHF 1.9M for sale by Christie's in Geneva on November 11, lot 387. It is centered with a larger diamond and decorated with three hanging pampilles.
1856 British Guiana One Cent Magenta Stamp
2014 SOLD for $ 9.5M by Sotheby's
The first stamps issued by the British Guiana in 1850 are made in black ink by woodcut printing on papers of various colors depending on the face value. The work is done by the printer of the local newspaper. They are so rudimentary that each sold stamp is authenticated by the handwritten initials of the postmaster or of one of his clerks.
These first stamps of 4, 8 and 12 cents are not rare because they have attracted the interest of collectors from the 1870s. These circular or roughly octagonal stamps are nicknamed the cottonreels. An additional cottonreel of 2 cents was issued in 1851. This low value only applied for the local mail inside Georgetown and this variety is extremely rare.
In 1852 the government takes control of operations. Stamps for British Guiana are now lithographed in England. In September 1855, it is a disaster. British agents had misunderstood the order and printed a quantity of stamps ten times lower than needed. Faced with the shortage, Dalton released in 1856 a new series of locally printed British Guiana stamps, with the same rudimentary process as in 1850.
The 4 cents stamp of 1856 to be used for mail is printed on colored paper in four variants, magenta, carmine, blue and double sided blue.
The 1 cent for the postage of newspapers is a lower denomination that had no reason to be kept by users. Only one survived. In poor condition, almost indecipherable, it is magenta in the same shade as one of the 4 cent variants. Collected in 1873 by a schoolboy in the archives of his uncle, it was formally authenticated by an expert in 1891.
This 1 cent magenta 29 x 26 mm British Guiana stamp is the only British variety that escapes the royal collection. Its reverse bears eight marks of prominent owners. Sold for $ 935K by Siegel in 1980, it was already at that time the most expensive stamp in the world.
It was sold twice by Sotheby's : for $ 9.5M on June 17, 2014 and for $ 8.3M on June 8, 2021, lot 3. The image is shared by Wikimedia. Please watch a video shared in 2008 by psychediva.
In June 2014 the other lots from the DuPont collection of British Guiana stamps were sold by David Feldman. The top results before fees were € 160K for a 4 cents from 1850-1851 on a cover, € 190K for a 2 cents from 1851 and € 240K for a blue 4 cents on a cover from 1856.
1856 view of Constantinople by Aivazovsky
2012 SOLD for £ 3.23M including premium by Sotheby's
Shared by Wikimedia :
1857 The Laws of Base Ball
2016 SOLD for $ 3.26M by SCP
The spirit of competition requires fixed rules that will identify champions who will defend their title in the following season. In England, football has a similar story at the same period.
The activist of the standardization of base ball, which will later become the baseball, is the New York Knickerbockers Base Ball Club established in 1845 and named after the uniforms of the firefighters who lent to them their playing field.
The Knickerbockers were not the best in sport but they had the merit of endeavoring to impose their rules. They were also one of the two teams that played the first official match in 1846 and the first base ball club to use a distinctive uniform in 1849.
In 1857 in New York, the first congress of the National Association of Base Ball Players establishes the first regulatory body and freezes the rules that will remain virtually unchanged for ever, ending the initiatives of the Knickerbockers.
A set of three manuscripts that were almost unnoticed in an auction in 1999 gives a new vision on the fundamental and even unique role of the Knickerbockers in defining the final baseball laws.
In 1857 the President of the Knickerbockers is Doc Adams who had been a player in the 1846 pioneering game. The three documents are the first autograph draft written by Adams in 1856 (the last page is missing), an iteration annotated by him before the congress and the final laws submitted to Congress and approved.
These documents were sold together for $ 3.26M as lot 1 by SCP Auctions with bidding close out on April 23, 2016. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
We are record setters here at SCP #Auctions. Remember when we sold The Laws of Baseball for over $3,000,000? We’d love to help you with your #sports #memorabilia in our Summer Premier Auction. Send in your #consignments before it’s too late. pic.twitter.com/jVT7YCG3vh— SCP Auctions (@SCPAuctions) July 7, 2019
1857 The Only 3-Skilling Yellow
1996 SOLD for CHF 2.9M including premium by David Feldman
narrated in 2010 before a private auction sale (see below)
No other copy will never be found, making this stamp the rarest and most desired piece on the philately market. Its story is told on the Treskilling Yellow page of Wikipedia, where it is illustrated. It was canceled in 1857.
It is a mistake and not a fake. This sample has all the characteristics of an 8 Skilling stamp, yellow, unless it bears the engraving of the 3 Skilling, which is green for all other known copies. The hypothesis to keep is that one of 100 clichés of a printing block of 8 Skilling was damaged, and the operator has inadvertently changed it by a 3 Skilling cliché. Nobody went aware of the error, and there is no way of knowing how many wrong copies were produced.
It was sold in 1996 2.9 MCHF including premium by David Feldman.
A scoop of the Telegraph has just announced its forthcoming sale without giving details, and it took me a few navigation tips to find the source: the 3 Skilling Yellow comes on May 22 in Geneva at private auction by David Feldman, with a specific catalog. You are now part of the happy few: here is the link to the catalog shared by the auction house.
David Feldman has done a quick calculation. Reduced to its weight, this small artefact of 26.75 milligrams is valued $ 70 billion per kilogram! Who says better?
POST SALE COMMENT
The Treskilling was sold for over $ 2.3 million to a group of buyers who required that the exact amount was not disclosed . I remind that it was a private auction.
Shared by Wikimedia :
1857-1859 L'Angélus by Millet
Dali remained obsessed with the Angélus, to which he devoted in 1963 an entire book titled Le Mythe tragique de l'Angélus de Millet. Le Louvre took an x-ray of the painting. The woman's gaze is directed towards a basket which peacefully symbolizes the harvest. In this place the original painting, masked by a repaint made by Millet, showed a child's coffin. Dali's intuition was confirmed, demonstrating the correctness of his paranoiac-critical hypersensitivity in this specific case.
The image is shared by Wikimedia.
1858 Kebab Merchants of Scutari
2009 SOLD 3.4 M$ including premium
He made long stays in the Middle East. During his returns to London, he exhibited at the Royal Academy the paintings he had created from his travel sketches. This was the case of "the Kibab (Kebab) Shop, Scutari," an oil on panel 53 x 79 cm, which was admired by John Ruskin when he displayed it in 1858.
This scene of life in the Middle East is remarkable in its details that recreate an intense life. The characters are seen in close-ups, quietly engaged in their business. The shop is very realistic, and Chinese import plates add a surprising touch of truth. It opens up entirely on the street animated by pigeons, two goats, a dog.
Sotheby's estimates this work at $ 1.5 million and is selling it in New York on April 24.
On 15 June 2005 in London, Christie's went close to £ 2.5 million including expenses for a midday meal in Cairo. This oil on canvas, bigger, with more characters, was the last work of Lewis (1875). Personally, I prefer the Kibabs Store, which I find more intimate and passionate ... and is an important milestone in Orientalist art.
POST SALE COMMENT
The price obtained, $ 3.4 million including expenses, paid tribute to the quality and earliness of the artwork. Forget the estimate, which was too low.