Going for Gold: Gilded Highlights from Sotheby's Sales

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Launch Slideshow

As Sotheby’s prepares to mount The Midas Touch — the first ever auction of entirely gold objects — we take a look back at some exceptional gold and gold-inspired artworks that have captivated clients across our diverse collecting categories in recent years. From the exquisite gold-ground paintings of the Renaissance, to contemporary photography, fine jewels, ancient sculpture and cars. Click ahead to see highlights from ten very different sales.

The Midas Touch
17 October 2018 | London

Going for Gold: Gilded Highlights from Sotheby's Sales

  • Matteo di Giovanni di Bartolo, called Matteo da Siena, The Madonna and Child.
    Sold for £81,250.
    Matteo di Giovanni, one of the greatest and perhaps the most progressive of the remarkable series of painters of Siena in the fifteenth century, produced many devotional images of the Madonna and Child throughout his long and prosperous career. The simplicity of the present image is, however, more unusual within the artist's œuvre for its omission of the attendant angels or saints usually incorporated into his compositions, and is all the more intimate and devout in feeling for it.

    We are now inviting property consignments for The Midas Touch sale on 17 October 2018. Request an estimate .
  • A gold-mounted lapis lazuli double portrait snuffbox, probably Florence, circa 1810.
    Sold for £43,750.
    Miniatures such as these, relatively small in scale and showing the sitter in state dress, were often destined to be mounted in gold presentation snuff boxes, one of the means by which a monarch could mark favour.

    We are now inviting property consignments for The Midas Touch sale on 17 October 2018. Request an estimate .
  • Hermès, A gold metal wirework diadem, designed as a garland of entwined flowers, feathers and foliage.
    Sold for €3,500.
    The collection of Emmanuelle and Philippe Harros was comprised of iconic 20th century couture and accessories, with each item carefully selected for its quality, originality and history. Stand out pieces by Elsa Schiaparelli, Yves Saint Laurent, Azzedine Alaïa were joined by this show-stopping Hermès headpiece.

    We are now inviting property consignments for The Midas Touch sale on 17 October 2018. Request an estimate .
  • A Sarmatian gold lion griffin head appliqué, Northern Black Sea or Central Asian Steppes, circa 2nd century B.C./1st century A.D.
    Sold for £112,500.
    Objects such as this griffin head were probably ornaments from horse trappings or attachments to weaponry or its accompanying straps and belts. The central hole in the filler probably marks the position of an original gold attachment strut. The work sold for more than 30 times its pre-sale estimate.

    We are now inviting property consignments for The Midas Touch sale on 17 October 2018. Request an estimate .
  • Rolex, A yellow gold diamond, sapphire and ruby-set watch with honeycomb dial, day, date and bracelet case 6744577 ref 19048 oysterquartz day-date circa 1981.
    Estimate £20,000—40,000.
    As the world’s most recognised luxury watch brand, a Rolex is the benchmark for classic and timeless style and timekeeping precision. This particular 18k gold model has a lapis lazuli dial, making the eye-catching watch not only an investment, but also a bold statement timepiece and talking point.

    We are now inviting property consignments for The Midas Touch sale on 17 October 2018. Request an estimate .
  • 1966 Ferrari 330 GTC by Pininfarina.
    Sold for €604.800.
    The 48th 330 GTC built, this remarkable car has been in the collections of some of the world’s most passionate collectors. Beginning life at the Ferrari factory in and having several owners in Italy and the United States.

    It was for a time re-finished in green, and then red by various American owners, but on its return to Europe in 2015 and after extensive mechanical and cosmetic refurbishment, it was returned to its original ‘Nocciola’ colour. Considered by many to be one of the greatest driving Ferraris of its era, this 330 GTC would be an ideal show car or long-distance tourer.

    We are now inviting property consignments for The Midas Touch sale on 17 October 2018. Request an estimate .
  • Sturtevant, Warhol Gold Marilyn.
    Sold for £401,000.
    A close friend of Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, Elaine Sturtevant was a vital part of New York’s art scene in the 1960s. Her work, produced under the moniker Sturtevant to avoid gendered assumptions in a male dominated world, constitutes one of the most unusual contributions to Twentieth Century art, and demonstrates a remarkable understanding of the cultural Zeitgeist that has eventuated in the “appropriation art” of the present day.

    We are now inviting property consignments for The Midas Touch sale on 17 October 2018. Request an estimate .
  • A Fabergé jewelled gold egg pendant, workmaster August Hollming, St Petersburg, 1899-1904.
    Sold for £10,000.
    This delicate and intricate pendant belongs to a famous family of objects made for discerning collectors the world over. Originally made as Easter decorations for Russian Imperial family by the St Petersburg Jeweller, Gustave Fabergé, the tradition has carried on for nearly two hundred years. Whilst the eggs are the most famous output of Fabergé, other ornaments, jewellery and decorative objects are still highly sought after.

    Read up on the 7 Things You Should Know About Fabergé .

    We are now inviting property consignments for The Midas Touch sale on 17 October 2018. Request an estimate .
  • William Bouguereau, Les Quatre Saisons: Le Printemps, L'été, L'automne, L'hiver.
    Sold for $1,275,000.
    Before asserting himself as the most influential champion of French Academic painting, William Bouguereau demonstrated a deep reverence for Classicism and the Antique, drawing inspiration from the frescoes of Pompeii and the Herculaneum as much as he had from Jacques-Louis David and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.

    Les quatre saisons are Bouguereau’s earliest recorded gold ground decorations. Typically reserved for sacred subjects and devotional pieces, Bouguereau was conscious of the warm glittering effect that gold leaf would have amidst residential gas lighting.

    We are now inviting property consignments for The Midas Touch sale on 17 October 2018. Request an estimate .
  • Wolfgang Tillmans, Gold(E).
    Sold for $62,500.
    “There is this looking at the world as shapes and patterns and colors that have meaning, and you can't deny the superficial because the superficial is what meets the eye.”

    We are now inviting property consignments for The Midas Touch sale on 17 October 2018. Request an estimate .
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