Impressive Auction Results for Chicago Consignors

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For more than 40 years, Sotheby’s Chicago has been a resource for a multitude of museums and countless collectors throughout the Midwest. Offering a wide range of services and the expertise of our in-house specialists, Sotheby’s assists clients across the region with consigning, appraising and acquiring artworks, jewellery and decorative arts. From a pivotal Roy Lichtenstein to a gorgeous Van Cleef & Arpels diamond and ruby brooch, many notable artworks and objects sourced through the Chicago office have achieved impressive results at auction. Click ahead to read the stories of some particularly remarkable highlights with Midwestern provenance.

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Impressive Auction Results for Chicago Consignors

  • Pieter Claeissens the Elder, Recto:The Visitation; Verso: A Bishop Saint. Sold for at Sotheby's New York for $150,000.
    A Chicago-based collector sold this unique, dual-sided Flemish Old Master panel with The Visitation on recto and A Bishop Saint on verso. The work’s creator, Pieter Claeissens the Elder, presided over a family of successful painters who were active in their native Bruges into the 17th century. Claeissens returned to this specific composition of The Visitation in a signed version that has yet to be located but is known from photographs. The free and spirited underdrawing beneath the present version, with its multitude of pentimenti in the face, hands, and drapery of both Anne and the Virgin, suggest that it may be the prime version of the composition. At auction, the work nearly doubled its high estimate.

  • Richard Mille, A Limited Edition Titanium Automatic Flyback Chronograph Wristwatch, circa 2011. Sold at Sotheby's New York for $100,000.
    This Richard Mille limited-edition titanium automatic flyback chronograph wristwatch from circa 2011 is a rare example of a highly sought-after watch. The selling price of $100,000 doubled the high estimate.

  • Fernando Botero, Man on a Horse. Sold at Sotheby's New York for $1,824,500.
    Botero’s Man on a Horse conveys a sense of familiarity, humour and tenderness between a man and his loyal horse. With a focus on form and a nod to equestrian statuary of the past, this work from an edition of three was obtained directly from the artist by a collector with ties to the Midwest. Monumental in scale, the work sold for well above its high estimate. 

  • Roy Lichtenstein, The Ring (Engagement), 1962. Sold at Sotheby's New York for $41,690,000.
    Lichtenstein’s The Ring (Engagement) is a prized example of the Pop artist at his best. Held in only two collections over the past 53 years, first Jean-Marie Rossi of Paris and then Stefan T Edlis of Chicago, the painting oscillates between the highly emotive content of the work and the detached, readymade nature of Lichtenstein’s borrowed mass-reproduced comic-book imagery. Widely exhibited in a number of the artist’s most prominent museum shows, including a major 2012–13 travelling retrospective that opened in Chicago, The Ring (Engagement) is a cornerstone of the artist’s oeuvre and its significance was reflected in the sale price of $41.7 million.

  • Tiffany Studios "Oriental Poppy" Floor Lamp. Sold at Sotheby's New York for $1,066,000.
    The Warshawsky Collection was one of the greatest collections of Tiffany and prewar design ever to appear at auction. Chicago-based collector Roy Warshawsky immersed himself in building the collection from the late 1960s through the early 1990s, acquiring works of unprecedented quality. This particular standing Tiffany lamp set a world auction record for the model, garnering over $1 million.

  • 18 Karat Gold, Platinum, Mystery-Set Ruby and Diamond Brooch, Van Cleef & Arpels, France. Sold at Sotheby's New York for $342,500.
    An irresistible piece from an unparalleled jewellery collection that spanned the Midwest and beyond, this brooch exhibits classic Mystery-set rubies with diamonds in yellow gold. At almost 40 carats of rubies, this brooch made of overlapping leaves is illustrative of Marjorie Fisher’s affinity for fine jewellery pieces representative of flora and fauna. One of the sale’s top lots, it sold well above the high estimate.

  • Alberto Giacometti, Buste De Diego (Aménophis). Sold at Sotheby's New York for $12,794,000.
    Hailing from the collection of Jerome H Stone, Buste de Diego (Amémophis) was cast during the artist’s lifetime in a numbered edition of eight. In 1956, Stone purchased this bronze from the renowned dealer Pierre Matisse, who described it as Alberto Giacometti’s most important rendering of his brother Diego. The sale price more than doubled the low estimate.

  • Norman Rockwell, The Bookworm (Man With Nose In Book). Sold at Sotheby's New York for $3,834,000.
    Coming to Sotheby’s from a Chicago-based collector, Rockwell’s The Bookworm was featured on the 14 August 1926 cover of the Saturday Evening Post. The model for the thoroughly absorbed reader, James K Van Brunt, was among Rockwell's favourites of the 1920s. The work fetched $3.8 million at auction, more than $1 million over its high estimate.

  • Gerhard Richter, Domplatz, Mailand [Cathedral Square, Milan], 1968. Sold at Sotheby's New York for $37,125,000.
    At over nine feet high, Richter’s Domplatz, Mailand (Cathedral Square, Milan) was, at the time of its completion, the largest representational painting by the artist. The work stands today as the epitome of Richter’s late-1960s photo-based works. It hung in the Siemens Milan offices for 30 years from 1968 to 1998, before being purchased by the Hilton Hotels Corporation and hung in Chicago. The work achieved a remarkable $37 million at Sotheby's in 2013, then the highest price paid for a work by a living artist at auction.  

  • Zao Wou-Ki, Abstraction. Sold for 89,680,000 RMB.
    Zao Wou-Ki was born in Beijing in 1920, and trained at the National Academy of Fine Arts in China. In the late 1940s, he moved to Paris, where he spent much of his long career and was influenced by the French and European postwar avant-garde. By the late 1950s, Zao returned to certain aspects of traditional Chinese painting and began to include invented characters within his canvases. Executed in 1958, Abstraction was exhibited in that year at Galerie Charpentier, where it received considerable critical praise. Dominated by ink-black with earthly maroon and touches of violet-blue, the work typifies the artist's colour experimentations of the time. Previously held in the esteemed collection of the Art Institute of Chicago and before that in the holdings of Chicago patrons Mary L and Leigh B Block, the work far exceeded its estimate when it came to auction in December 2013.

  • Frank Auerbach, Head Of Jym II. Sold at Sotheby's London for €161,000 GBP.
    This work in chalk and charcoal on paper by German-British artist Frank Auerbach hailed from a collection in the Midwest. Typifying Auerbach's expressionistic portraiture, this drawing more than doubled the high estimate on the auction block in London.


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