NEW YORK, LONDON, PARIS, GENEVA, MILAN AND BEIJING - Cars rev their engines in New York. Two iconic old master depictions of Venice hang in London. An enormous pink diamond sparkles in Geneva. A signature Modigliani becomes available in Paris. These are just a few of the treasures promised as Sotheby's concludes its Hong Kong sales series celebrating 40 years in Asia and begins a full calendar of autumn sales. Read on for more highlights of what the coming months have in store around the globe.
Venice, A View of the Piazza San Marco looking east towards the Basilica, by Giovanni Antonio Canal, called Canaletto. Offered at Sotheby's Old Master Paintings Evening sale in London on 4 December as a pair with A View of the Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge. Estimate: 8,000,000–12,000,000 GBP for the pair.
Joseph Beuys Revealed | 10 October to 15 November
The legendary German master is the subject of the inaugural exhibition at Sotheby’s new London S|2 gallery, across from the New Bond Street auction rooms. (S|2, galleries showing curated selling exhibitions of contemporary art, launched in New York in 2011 and in Hong Kong the next year). The debut centers on Beuys’ important early bronze sculpture Bett (1950). Twelve further works on paper are from 1947 to 1966, the when the artist developed his potent creative persona.
The Power of Love | 16 and 18 October
In 2004, Myriam Ullens – co-founder with husband Guy of Beijing's groundbreaking Ullens Center for Contemporary Art – was inspired by her own experience with cancer to form the Mimi Foundation, whose hospital wellness centres help cancer patients undergoing treatment retain a sense of dignity. At this sale supporting the foundation, 40 contemporary artists are donating major works in an impressive lineup that reflects their deep appreciation for Mrs Ullens’ stature as a collector and grace as a patron.
20th Century Italian Art | 17 October
This sale of Italian Modern masters includes works by some of the era's greatest artists. Among nine outstanding works by Lucio Fontana is his radiant yellow Concetto Spaziale, 1960, stirring composition of cuts and punctures. Marino Marini’s two equestrian bronzes from the 1950s exemplify his strident grasp of the medium. The selection also includes signature masterpieces by Alberto Burri, Piero Manzoni and Giuseppe Penone.
Finest & Rarest Wines | 13 November
The celebrated Champagne, Moët & Chandon, celebrates its 270th anniversary with the release of a premier selection of extraordinary vintages in its Grand Vintage Collection dating back to 1914, including the legendary vintages of 1921, 1928 and 1952. Also of great interest in this sale is an additional selection of exceptionally rare wines from an Important Private Continental Collection, including a case of Château Haut Brion 1928 and Clos des Lambrays 1945.
Important Russian Art | 25 November
A decade ago, the Russian art market took off, driven by new collectors from Russia former Soviet republics. Our offering reflects the increasing sophistication of buyers, who demand impeccable quality and provenance. Nineteenth and early 20th century masterpieces include a rare early work by Nikolai Roerich and a painting by Alexei Bogoliubov with Imperial provenance.
Important English Furniture: A Gentleman’s Collection | 3 December
The zenith of English cabinet making, from the mid-18th to early 19th century, was a time of great craftsmen and grand patrons. Our sale offers a standout pieces from the period, assembled by one of the world's great collectors. An impressive pair of Marlborough commodes – probably these were commissioned by the 5th Duke of Marlborough around 1790 from Mayhew and Ince – are among the highlights.
Old Master Paintings | 4 December
The veduta is among the preeminent 18th century genres, and Canaletto its master; among sale highlights are two of his finest works depicting Venice's most iconic sites. Also within the sale is an historic offering from the world-famous Leverhulme Collection of three Victorian masterpieces by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt and James-Jacques-Joseph Tissot.
Andy Warhol, Liz #1, 1963, offered at Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening auction in New York on November 13. Estimate $20,000,000 - 30,000,000.
The Extraordinary Jewelry of Alexandre Reza | 1 to 13 November
The post-war Parisian master was legendary for his collection of rare gems and the design and craftsmanship with which he transformed them into opulent masterpieces. Sotheby’s tour-de-force selling exhibition showcases 25 magnificent historic and contemporary exemplars, spanning 40 years of the House of Reza. Among the treasures is an iconic 134-carat Ceylon sapphire brooch, featured in Assouline’s Impossible Collection of Jewelry.
Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale | 6 November
Initiating the sale is Futur! Masterworks of the Avant-Garde, a private collection curated to include key moments in the evolution of Cubism and Futurism, Dada, Surrealism and Abstraction, with 14 seminal achievements by the greatest of the masters, including Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso and Juan Gris, in addition to superlative works by Francis Picabia and Giacomo Balla. Not since Sotheby’s landmark sale of the Malbin Collection in 1990 has such a stunning group of Modernist masterpieces come to auction.
Contemporary Art Evening Sale | 13 November
Key offerings from Dia Art Foundation include one of John Chamberlain’s earliest crushed automobile sculptures, Barnett Newman’s stunning 1946 precursor to his revolutionary Zip paintings and 14 works by Cy Twombly. Other of the evening’s star lots include Gerhard Richter’s A.B. Courbet , 1986, two of Warhol’s iconic early masterpieces, Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) and Liz #1, both from 1963.
The Collection of Allan Stone: African, Oceanic, and Indonesian Art | 15 November
Post-war New York art dealer Allan Stone was legendary for exhibiting paintings by de Kooning, Kline, Gorky and others alongside African and Oceanic art masterpieces. His passion for the works of these cultures led him to amass one of the world's most important private collections. Many of the more than 300 works have featured prominently in the seminal museum exhibitions and publications, making this offering the most significant of its kind in New York since 1966's Helena Rubinstein auction.
Latin American Art | 20 November
The first to launch Latin American art as an auction category in 1979, Sotheby’s has seen the market grow steadily. Featured in this offering are many of the region’s Modern and contemporary masters, including Matta, Rufino Tamayo, Leonora Carrington and Lygia Clark, in addition to Fernando Botero, represented by a group of works in diverse media, and Mira Schendel, currently the subject of a full-scale survey at Tate Modern.
The Art of the Automobile | 21 November
On offer will be some of the most visually appealing and historically important automobiles ever offered at auction. Like the one-of-a-kind 1956 Aston Martin DB 2/4 MKII Supersonic, many are absolutely unique custom creations representing the best of automotive design from some of the most celebrated marques in the world. In recognition of their extraordinary stature, these cars will be shown at Sotheby's New York galleries.
(RED) Auction | 23 November
The first (RED) sale in 2008 raised $40 million to fight AIDS in Africa, making it the most successful charity auction in history. Organized once again by (RED) founder Bono, this auction taps the visionary talents of two design pioneers. Sir Jonathan Ive and Marc Newson have curated and customized 40 peerless iconic designs by premier brands –sophisticated luxuries spanning the worlds of automobiles, contemporary art, space travel and beyond.
The Bay Psalm Book | 26 November
After arriving in the New World, Colonists wanted a translation of the Psalms closer to the Hebrew original. Their 1640 Bay Psalm Book was the first book printed in America; only eleven copies still survive, almost all in important institutional collections. Sotheby's offers this work of inestimable importance. At Sotheby’s in 1947 – the only time a copy has come to auction since the 19th century – it achieved more than even the Gutenberg Bible and Shakespeare’s First Folio.
American Art | 4 December
Coming onto the block are among three of the most iconic images ever to grace the cover of The Saturday Evening Post by America’s best-loved painter, Norman Rockwell. Saying Grace is the artist’s singular masterpiece. The Gossips and Walking to Church are also exemplary. These are among the selection of works on offer that have passed down through the family of Kenneth J. Stuart, Sr, Rockwell’s longtime friend and art editor at the Post.
Magnificent Jewels | 11 December
Bringing to light the genius of some of the greatest makers of the early and mid-20th century, this sale features a superb selection of beautiful and signed period jewels. On offer are Cartier pieces including Egyptian-Revival jewels from the 1920s, an exquisite diamond brooch and an Indian-inspired emerald-and-diamond necklace. Another highlight: an important D color emerald-cut diamond of 24.48 carats.
Art Contemporain | 3 to 4 December
Exciting works by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Anselm Kiefer lead the international selection of contemporary masters, in addition to a large and exceptional painting by Joan Mitchell. Important works are also on offer by many leading post-war French artists, including Jean Dubuffet, Simon Hantaï, Pierre Soulages, Serge Poliakoff, Hans Hartung and Jean-Michel Atlan. Complementing the array is an outstanding selection by the Franco-Chinese artist Zao Wou-Ki.
Art Impressionniste & Moderne | 4 December
The centerpiece of this sale, Amedeo Modigliani’s 1919 portrait of his friend and patron Roger Dutilleul, has remained within the family of the great collector for nearly a century. The striking tribute bears the hallmarks of the artist’s signature style: a long neck, elongated, oval face, almond-shaped eyes, pursed lips. Upon first encountering Modigliani’s work in 1918, Dutilleul acquired all available canvases. This support was a catalyst for Modigliani’s creativity in this important phase of his career.
Arts d'Afrique et d'Océanie | 11 December
This selection is a tribute to the collectors and dealers who between the World Wars helped elevate African and Oceanic art to a status on par with the Western canon. From the collection of George de Miré comes an important Fang statue. Another masterpiece, exhibited at MoMA in 1935, is a Kota Shamaye reliquary figure from Paul Guillaume’s collection. A Bamana statue, first acquired by Frederick Lem, later became part of the legendary Helena Rubinstein collection.
Magnificent Jewels | 13 November
At Sotheby’s Geneva in 2010, the Graff Pink diamond hammered down at $46.2 million, the world auction record for any diamond or gemstone. Twice the size, the Pink Star will be offered in our 13 November Magnificent Jewels sale. The oval-cut diamond is the largest flawless or internally flawless, fancy vivid pink diamond that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has ever graded. Also being offered is the extraordinary "Walska Briolette Diamond" brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels, featuring a 96.62-carat fancy vivid yellow diamond once owned by the opera singer and jewellery connoisseur Ganna Walska.
Opere d’Arte Contemporanea | 26 to 27 November
This sale taps international and Italian collections to present prized works by many of the nation’s greatest 20th-century artists, from Futurists like Boccioni and Balla, through De Chirico, Sironi and Marini to later post-war giants. Headlining the Contemporary selection are Fontana’s stunning large-scale blue slash painting of 1964, Enrico Castellani’s masterpiece of the same year and an important early painting by Alberto Burri.
Age of Elegance | 28 November to 1 December
Sotheby’s 2012 selling exhibition in Hong Kong offering European decorative arts was a great success. This year an edition of the selling exhibition debuts in Beijing, featuring an exceptional selection of 19th-century European paintings, furniture and works of art.