otheby’s is pleased to present our Important European Art Sale featuring a large array of Belle Epoque masterpieces, such as the magnificent The Proposal by James-Jacques-Joseph Tissot from the collection of Ralph and Terry Kovel, and a number of rediscovered works, such as William Adolphe Bouguereau’s La sérieuse and Federico Zandomeneghi’s Les deux soeurs. Other highlights of the sale include an important group of four works by Bouguereau from the Estate of Lois Fields.
Ralph and Terry Kovel, hailed as “the duke and duchess of the antiques world,” have written more than 100 books and special reports about collecting. Their publications include a national paid circulation newsletter, Kovels On Antiques & Collectibles. Their bylined column is the longest running nationally syndicated weekly column still written by the original author. Their guides include the annual Kovel's Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide, which has sold over 4 million copies since its first edition.
The Kovels have been repeatedly consulted for their expertise and experience in court cases and in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Boardroom Reports and other newspapers. They wrote the “Collectibles” entry for the Encyclopedia Britannica and have even been featured as an answer on the TV game show, “Jeopardy.” The couple has also written articles for Forbes, Town and Country, Good Housekeeping, and a host of other magazines and other publications.
Ralph and Terry appeared on several television talk shows and starred in three television series: “Know Your Antiques” for public television stations, “Collector’s Journal with Ralph and Terry Kovel” for the Discovery Channel, and “Flea Market Finds with the Kovels” for HGTV. The Kovels have won two Emmy Awards.
Kovels.com, online since 1998, offers a bird’s-eye view of the market with news, information and over 1 million prices. Readers will find auction reports, readers’ questions with answers, a marks dictionary, and identification guides covering antiques and collectibles from 1750 to 2010.
Ralph Kovel passed away in 2008.
James Tissot - The Proposal
Lois was an elegant woman who appreciated beautiful things. Lois particularly loved the art of Bouguereau whose paintings in her collection brought her joy on a daily basis. She valued entertaining family and friends at her luxurious residences in Beverly Hills where she enjoyed displaying her beloved art collection. Lois was lover of music, art, nature, fashion, romance, traveling, decorating, laughing and spending quality time with her family and friends.
The sale also includes a group of marble and bronze sculpture highlighted by Jean-Léon Gérôme’s ravishing life-size tinted marble entitled La Joueuse de Boules, or The Ball Player. First exhibited at the Salon of 1902, the nude figure is shown in contrapposto, and with a twisted torso, representing the artist’s mastery at depicting the female form. The auction also includes a beautiful white marble group of the Three Graces after Antonio Canova’s masterpiece, carved by Antonio Frilli. Canova’s masterpiece was commissioned in 1812 by the Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais, the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. While depictions of this subject can be traced back to antiquity, Canova’s composition has become so famous that it is now synonymous with the subject and Frilli beautifully interprets the interaction between the three stunning female figures.
Visit the Exhibition
Following the guidelines for the Phase Four reopening of Manhattan, we are able to accommodate clients in our building by appointment only. The exhibition for this sale will open on 15 May and close on 19 May at 5PM EDT. To schedule an appointment please click here or contact appointmentsNY@sothebys.com or +1 212 606 7171. You can read more about our safety requirements here.