The One
Live Auction: 2 February 2024 • 10:00 AM EST • New York

The One 2 February 2024 • 10:00 AM EST • New York

Sotheby’s is pleased to present the second iteration of The One, an auction showcasing an unprecedented selection of the finest products of human achievement in history, which together tell a story of excellence in craft, artistry and endeavor. The live auction will take place in New York on 2 February, and will be displayed alongside Masters Week exhibitions, starting 26 January.

Divine and Devotion

Since the dawn of civilization, humanity has attempted to represent divinity via artistic expression. Examples in this auction range from an incredibly rare depiction of female saints on a cassetta by 13th century Florentine painter, Grifo di Tancredi, to a serene yet imposing gilt-bronze Buddha from 14th century Tibet, to F. Holland Day’s sensual photographic interpretation of St. Sebastian. Despite diversity of culture, diversity and chronology, religious and devotional imagery ties these divinely compelling objects together.

Myths and Legends

The stories a culture leaves behind reveal more about a civilization and their values than any other marker. In Greek mythology, cultural pursuits were valued so highly that they became embodied in 9 different ethereal goddesses, collectively known as the muses (see lot 7 for Francesco Righetti’s interpretation of the muse of Comedy and the muse of Tragedy). In 20th century American mythology, where popular culture has become a connective religion, Michael Jordan has become akin to an ancient god, with his championship clinching game worn Air Jordans acting as a sort of magic talisman, the way Hercules’ club or Zeus’ thunderbolt was to the Greeks. Other legends and tales of innovation represented in the sale include a wonderful depiction of Orpheus and Eurydice in maiolica, (lot 5), a stunningly preserved Spanish colonial cup from the famed Atocha shipwreck (lot 6).

Testaments to Innovation
Crowning Glory
Opulence and Splendor

Since antiquity, certain rare and beautiful materials have been used by artists to cater to the opulent tastes of the art collectors. Here we see luxe materials and opulent craftmanship take form in gold enamel and hard stone Hope cup (lot 13), a rich ebony cabinet painted by Jan Van Balen with scenes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses (lot 14), Egyptian porphyry sculpted into a pair of elegant Louis XIV cases (lot 15), and mosaic, lapis lazuli and gilt bronze employed into an intricate frame of the Colosseum (lot 16).

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