The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, April 22, 2018

Sotheby's to offer the collection of Mark Birley from his London home, Thurloe Lodge
Henry Herbet La Thangue (1859-1929), Resting after the Game, 1889. Est. £250,000 - £350,000. Photo: Sotheby's.

LONDON.- Sotheby’s London announced that it will offer for sale the collection of renowned arbiter of taste and fêted London club owner Mark Birley (1930-2007), on 21st March 2013. The auction will comprise property fro Thurloe Lodge, his home in Kensington for nearly 30 years. With his refined sense of style and unerring eye for detail, Mark Birley furnished Thurloe Lodge as the ultimate bachelor’s residence. The mastermind behind a portfolio of exclusive members-only clubs, including the legendary Annabel’s, Mark’s Club, George’s Bar, Harry’s Bar, and The Bath & Racquets Club, Birley was for more than two decades, the innovator of aristocratic nightlife, creating a world where royalty and rock stars partied together in an atmosphere of sophisticated country house glamour. From works by Rossetti, Landseer and Munnings to monogrammed table silver, superb bronzes and a bespoke Hermès backgammon board, the sale reflects Mark Birley’s private world -– his love of understated luxury, entertaining and his dogs. The auction will present over 500 lots which span 12 different collecting disciplines. With estimates ranging from £50 to £250,000, the sale is expected to realise a total in excess of £1.3 million.

India Jane Birley recalled: "My father, Mark Birley, was renowned for creating beautiful rooms whose atmosphere enchanted everyone who sat in them. He lived in discreet splendour at Thurloe Lodge. Its style revealed his great depth of character and knowledge of furniture and paintings. I remember the backgammon evenings, the rooms blue with cigar smoke and the dogs. The food was invariably delicious and, in contrast to the food at the clubs, simple and English. I was only ever given roast chicken and, as he put it, 'something decent to drink.' Thurloe Lodge provided perfect accommodation for one man, several dogs and an occasional guest. It had not been designed for family living. Hence the difficult decision to sell the old house and its beautiful contents. His ashes are near me on the drinks tray. Better there than in a wet garden. And I like to think he approves of the sale, for being an artist he understands my need to carve out my own space too."

Henry Wyndham, Chairman Sotheby’s Europe Commented: “Sotheby’s sale of property from Thurloe Lodge provides a glimpse into the hidden world of one of the leading tastemakers of the 20th century. Although Mark Birley’s clubs were, and continue to be, internationally renowned, in reality he presided over a very private world. The selection of works on offer, from his cigar cases, to portraits of his beloved dogs and a treasured backgammon board, give a very personal glimpse into his extraordinary life.”

When Mark Birley founded Annabel’s in 1963, he revolutionised night life in London. After the austerity of the post-war years, a new generation of pop-stars, royalty and politicians flocked to the club’s elegant, luxurious and very private surroundings. Founded beneath the Clermont Club, England’s first gambling club run by John Aspinall, Annabel’s was, in its own way, avant-garde. It was the first of such members-only clubs in London which did not require its members to wear dinner jackets, and openly welcomed women into a night-time world traditionally dominated by men. Here, Birley brought the ‘Swinging Sixties’ to London - inviting the leading stars of the day to perform - including Diana Ross, Ray Charles and the Supremes - and hosting legendary themed events. While Birley introduced high-society London to a relatively informal dining and dancing experience, he also maintained impeccable levels of service and presentation. Thurloe Lodge encapsulated much of the elegance and charm of his celebrated clubs.

Elvira Maria, Mark Birley’s housekeeper at Thurloe Lodge for 23 years, recalled: “There was a lot of entertaining at Thurloe Lodge and it was always done so beautifully. Mr Birley was a perfectionist and liked everything to be carried out to the highest standards. Every little detail had to be right. For his dinners, we used the best linens. silver candlesticks, small sculptures of dogs in silver and silver plates were laid out on the table, with wonderful arrangements of garden flowers in the Lalique vases. The cutlery was placed in a very specific way. (Even when he was dining on his own, Mr Birley used silver cutlery.) He was such a generous host and always served good food and the best wine.” Mark Birley’s wine cellar will be sold alonsgide his collection of furniture and art. It includes various vintages of Châteaux Cheval Blanc , Haut Brion, Petrus and Yquem as well as Champagne from Krug and Ruinart , plus exclusive bottlings including Mark's Club Saint-Emilion 2003, bottled by J P Mouiex and 7 bottles of Private Collection Porto Velho 1930 Vintage Port.

Throughout the well-appointed rooms at Thurloe was an eclectic mix of objects, from personal mementoes to well-chosen works of art, reflecting a career as an arbiter of taste. Interior photographs give a glimpse of a truly extraordinary space. In addition to works by important 19th century and Edwardian artists and 20th century sculptors, there is an array of items by the very best makers, from Tiffany’s and Asprey’s to the smallest and most luxurious of items - one of Mark Birley’s tie pins by Cartier, estimated at £400-600, and his Art Deco solid silvered enamel bath taps estimated at £300 – 500.

Nestled behind a sumptuous sofa in a corner of the drawing room, Birley placed two sublime equestrian bronzes (est. £50,000- 70,000) by Antoine-Louis Barye, one of the greatest 19th century animaliers (and illustrative of a superb selection of bronzes in the collection) next to a rare and exquisite porcelain Imperial Russian plate (£12,000-18,000) and a charming Coalport casket and cover (£150-250) all beautifully lit by atmospheric Empire-style table lamps (£800 – 1,200).

Birley’s superb Hermés leather and needlework backgammon board with ivory and ebony counters is estimated at £500 -£1,000. At the age of 30 Birley was chosen to manage London’s first Hermés store. This backgammon board was always laid out, ready for play, in the sitting room. This travelling set was commissioned specially with a tapestry playing surface - to reduce the noise when the dice were rolled.

Animals feature throughout the collection and dogs in particular. One of Birley’s greatest loves, and a very personal item in the sale, is a portrait of Blitz, his Rhodesian Ridgeback, who often sat beside his master on the front seat of his Bentley. Carved from pine by Nicholas Johnson, it is estimated at £2,000 - £3,000. This specially commissioned sculpture sat beside the fire in the Drawing Room at Thurloe Lodge.

Henry Herbet La Thangue (1859-1929)
Resting after the Game, 1889 (est. £250,000 - £350,000)

La Thangue’s Resting after the Game, is one of the artist’s finest works. This portrait depicts his wife, elegantly posed in a wicker chair relaxing after a game of the newly popular lawn tennis. In the background sits their bloodhound Bor, wonderfully painted and no doubt a deciding influence in Birley’s decision to purchase the work. La Thangue was a pioneer of the open air naturalism movement in Britain which was spearheaded by Jules Bastien-Lepage in France. This is championed here with the bold, broad brushstrokes to convey the warm, dappled light.

Charles Burton Barber (1845-1894),
Good Friends, 1889
(est. £80,000 – £120,000)

A very fine example of the work of Charles Burton Barber, the foremost late 19th century painter of children and their pets, and an artist favoured by Queen Victoria. This evocative painting is illustrated hanging above a chic 19th century English console table attributed to William Cripps (£3,000-5,000) under which is placed a charming bronze portrait of ‘Jack’, one of Mark’s adored dogs, by Nicola Hicks (£3,000-4,000). The placement of these works, against walls covered in burnt orange Fortuny silk fabric, was a deeply considered process.

Sir Edwin Landseer (1802-1873),
Dash (1825)
(est. £8,000-£12,000)

Sir Edwin Landseer was revered in Victorian Britain as the greatest of animal painters, receiving many commissions from the Queen herself. Dash is one of four works by Landseer in Birley’s collection.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882),
Aggie Maretti Holding a Dog, c.1862
(est. £15,000-£20,000)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s fondness for animals is well known, however, this is the only known study by the artist showing one of his models with a pet. This pre-Raphaelite drawing depicts Aggie Maretti (known as ‘Fatty Aggie’ in Rossetti’s circle). She was, according to William Michael Rossetti, a Scotswoman with a beautiful profile, and modelled for several of Rossetti’s pictures around 1862. Previous owners of this drawing include Kerrison Preston and Evelyn Waugh. Indeed, Preston reproduced the drawing in his renowned book Blake and Rossetti (1944), in which he advanced the theory that the two artists (Blake and Rossetti) shared a soul.

David Hockney (b. 1937),
Boodgie, 1993
(est. £12,000-£18,000)

A delightful drawing of one of Hockney’s beloved Dachshunds, Boodgie (the other was called Stanley). This is one of several intimate pencil portraits and paintings Hockney produced of his dogs around this time following a period when a number of the artist’s close friends had died. Hockney explained 'I started painting the dogs and realized that this was a marvellous subject for me at this time, because they were little innocent creatures, creatures like us, and they didn't know about much. It was just a marvellous, loving subject.'

John Stanton Ward, R.A. (1917 – 2007)
Study for the Founder Members
(est. £1,000 - £1,500)

Mark Birley was a close friend and patron of the painter, illustrator and teacher John Stanton Ward. From around the year 1975, Ward made a number of watercolour drawings of the staff and interior of Annabel’s, and, in 1983 produced a triptych of the founding members to celebrate the club’s 20th anniversary. This watercolour is one of several studies of Annabel’s to be offered in the sale. Ward also painted portraits of the royal family, including Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Harry.

Last Week News

January 26, 2013

First major exhibition to showcase Manet’s portraiture opens at the Royal Academy of Arts

"Impressionism from Monet to Matisse": Columbia Museum of Art opens major Impressionist exhibition

Romanians arrested over Dutch art heist claim innocence; court denied the suspects bail

Landmark Dieter Roth exhibition inaugurates the Hauser & Wirth's new downtown space

"Primrose: Russian Colour Photography" opens at FOAM in Amsterdam

Mid-19th century Russian urn sells for a smashing $152,500 at Bonhams New York

Georges Braque and the Cubist Still Life, 1928-1945 opens at the Kemper Art Museum

"We Went Back: Photographs from Europe 1933-1956" by Chim on view at the International Center of Photography

Between Extremities: Pace presents works by exceptionally prolific artist Brian Clarke

Walters Art Museum acquires major work by African American artist Richard Seldon Duncanson

Monumental sculptures of iconic New York buildings to emerge along the Park Avenue Malls

New York based artists Sam Moyer & Elaine Cameron-Weir exhibit at Galerie Rodolphe Janssen

Public artist and landscape architect JEFRE completes the largest public art project in San Antonio

Mike Eruzione's 1980 Miracle on Ice game worn jersey estimated to bring $1+ million

1880 $500 brings $441,250 to top $13.4+ million FUN currency auction

BMW Guggenheim Lab Mumbai unveils winning designs for competition to rethink busy transportation hu

Stéphane C. presents his photographs at Pavlov's Dog, Space for Photography

Exhibition marks the bicentenary of the publication of Scott's epic poem, Rokeby

Bronx Museum presents survey of Joan Semmel's self-portraits from the last decade

New York World & Ancient Coin Auction realizes more than $14 million

January 25, 2013

Mexican archaeologists find complex panel of 1,000 year-old petroglyphs in Nayarit

Getty Research Institute launches database of German art sales records from 1930-1945

Surrealism and the art of drawing is the subject of a major exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum

National Portrait Gallery reunites portraits of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon after 500 years

Inez & Vinoodh open first exhibition of photographs with Gagosian Gallery in Paris

After searching several locations, Romanian police still looking for art stolen in Dutch heist

Top lot in Bonhams 19th century sale makes over double the pre-sale estimate

Moscow Museum of Modern Art opens first major retrospective of Olga Tobreluts

First retrospective of Indian-born printmaker Zarina spans five decades of her career

Masterpiece London appoints independent art advisor Nazy Vassegh as Chief Executive

Five masterpieces return to The Hague after going on a successful travelling exhibition in Japan

Exhibition focuses on spirit of innovation and collectivity in new Finnish photography

Emperor's treasured miniature up for auction at Bonhams New York during Asia Week

Witness From Baghdad: Halim Al Karim's on view at Artspace London

Steve McQueen Chevrolet Styleline leads exciting list of celebrity rides at Auctions America sale

The San Diego Museum of Art announces the acquisition of Pedro de Mena's San Diego

Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries present exhibition of selections from The Cochran Collection

The Gallery at Norwich University of the Arts presents recent works on canvas by Avis Newman

Bonhams to sell original of world's most reproduced fine art print: "Chinese Girl" by Tretchikoff

Photorealism Revisited opens at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Fourth Annual Collectors Evening secures four new acquisitions for the High Museum of Art

January 24, 2013

French masterpiece by 17th century artist Charles Le Brun discovered in the Hotel Ritz

Romanian suspects in Dutch art heist 'tried to sell paintings'; others involved in the heist

Christie's to sell a selection of 128 works from the collection of Mrs. Ingvild Goetz

Five British icons Bacon, Hockney, Jones, Doig, Hirst at auction at Christie's London

Three "Life Drawings" by Jules Olitski acquired by the Phillips Collection in Washington

One of Impressionist artist Camille Pissarro's only pair of seascapes surfaces at Bonhams

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts appoints new Curator of Southeast Asian Art

Jenness Cortez presents new, important work of American Realism at DeBruyne Fine Art

Venezuelan museum's missing Matisse painting thieves sentenced in Miami by US federal court

For the first time out of Europe, Toulouse-Lautrec & his world begins its U.S. tour in New Britain

Stolen Henri Matisse painting back in Sweden's Moderna Museet after 25 years

Betjeman manuscript of 'The Arrest of Oscar Wilde at the Cadogan Hotel' for sale at Bonhams

Contemporary American artist Roni Horn wins the fourth edition of the Joan Miró Prize

Portraits of women, and self-portraits, on view at American Folk Art Museum

Ayyam Gallery opens gallery space in London with exhibition by Lebanese artist and architect Nadim Karam

Mad. Sq. Art announces Camera Obscura by Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder

Spirit of Studio 54 electrifies Palm Beach Modern's auction of Steve Rubell archive

Artist Christo takes small steps on Colorado project

Swann Galleries' February 14 auction to include works from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Rare posters seized by Nazis net $2.5M at New York City sale

January 23, 2013

Romanian authorities arrest three men involved in Rotterdam museum art heist

Pioneer of Surrealism Max Ernst's first retrospective in Austria opens at Albertina

Precision and splendor: Exhibition of clocks and watches opens at the Frick Collection

French paintings from the Wheelock Whitney Collection on view at the Metropolitan

German artist Wolfgang Laib installs large-scale pollen field in MoMA's Marron Atrium

Museum of City of New York unveils "Micro-Unit" in Making Room: New Housing for New Yorkers

Metropolitan Museum's new galleries for Islamic Art Department draw one million visitors

Major new exhibition examines the role of the economy in shaping all aspects of human life

Columbus Museum of Art moves forward with expansion, presents building plans

European paintings, furniture and decorative arts lead Bonhams first San Francisco sale of 2013

Studio Museum announces 2012 Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize awarded to Jennie C. Jones

1792 Half Disme brings $1.41 million to lead FUN U.S. Coin event in Orlando, Florida

Morphy's Feb. 8-9 Fine & Decorative Arts Auction brings outstanding fresh collections to the marketplace

Taking Matters into our own Hands: Group exhibition opens at Richard Saltoun

Rock and Roll memorabilia sale reflects life of legendary music executive

First UK solo show of works by acclaimed Azeri artist Niyaz Najafov opens at Gazelli Art House

Iconic Louvre work 'Winged Victory' to be restored

Smithsonian curators scout for Obama artifacts

Second inaugural fashion set for presidential library

January 22, 2013

Romanian authorities arrest three men involved in Rotterdam museum art heist

Gustav Klimt 150th anniversary celebrations help Vienna to record tourism year in 2012

The National Museum of Scotland displays a host of treasures from the home of the Vikings

Exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art shows recently acquired pair of Japanese screens

A century of fashion photography from the Condé Nast archives at Fondazione Forma per la Fotografia

Art on the go, "Museum Space" courtesy of Paris' Charles de Gaulle international airport

New Jersey library displays Kara Walker drawing of slave having sex with a white man

Carrie Pilto appointed Director of the Matisse Museum in Le Cateau-Cambrésis

Asaph Hyman, Director of Bonhams Chinese Art Department, is appointed to the Bonhams UK Board of Directors

Artist Nancy Peppin's obsession with Twinkies spans four decades and hundreds of works

Quai Branly Museum's Aboriginal art exhibition scores major hit in Paris with 133,716 visitors

Skylar Fein's "Remember the Upstairs Lounge" acquired by the New Orleans Museum of Art

£20 picture turns out to be £60,000 power print by Cyril Edward Power for sale at Bonhams

Pennsylvania 'dwarf' clock whistles while it works the crowd at Stephenson's New Year's auction

Nation honors King on day of Obama inauguration

Human Rights is the focus of four exhibitions at the Ryerson Image Centre

Columbus Museum acquires twelve panels from Dawn Black's Conceal Project

With 1,200 newly installed lamps, new Empire State Building spire dazzles rivals

Digital age prompting closure of base theaters

Tunisia jails 16 Islamists for one month over art violence

Dallas Contemporary announces major exhibition of Puerto Rican artist DZINE

January 21, 2013

Gallery One: A new, unique and interactive gallery opens at the Cleveland Museum of Art

After DNA testing confirmed the bones, Australian outlaw Ned Kelly buried in cement

3-D sonar provides new high-resolution images of Civil War shipwreck in the Gulf of Mexico

Important Americana for sale at Sotheby's New York on 25 & 26 January

In the Flow of Time: Photographs from Asia 1980-2011 by Steve McCurry on view at Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg

Internationally acclaimed French designer Andree Putman dies aged 87: family

Brazil to give $25 monthly culture stipend to workers to go to movies, read books or visit museums

Luxury and an ancient craft: Top names in world fashion go to Millau for their gloves

Three Italians from Lecco bring to life the first app in the world for art collection cataloguing

Pace presents a two-venue exhibition surveying twenty years of work by the Chinese artist Song Dong

RM Auctions realizes spectacular $36.4 million at Single-Day Arizona Biltmore Sale

Photographer and artist Jack Pierson opens exhibition at Regen Projects in Los Angeles

Carl Solway Gallery opens exhibitions by John Torreano, Hadley Holliday and Diane Landry

Heritage Auctions records best year to date: $860+ million total sales

Kunsthaus Zürich receives around 250,000 visitors; The new year begins with Chagall

Santa Monica Museum of Art presents in Project Room 2 "Samira Yamin: We Will Not Fail"

Diamond-encrusted motorcycle designed by Wayne Rooney up for sale at Bonhams

Thilo Heinzmann, Rashid Johnson and Thomas Zipp exhibit at Galerie Guido W. Baudach

''Holy windfall": Batmobile sells for $4.2M

Exhibition of painting, sculpture and works on paper by McDermott and McGough at Cheim & Read

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- John Surtees' one-owner 1957 BMW 507 to be offered for the first time at Bonhams Festival of Speed sale

2.- Antiques looted in Libya by IS sold in Spain, two experts arrested

3.- The world's oldest bridge to be preserved by the British Museum's Iraq Scheme

4.- Exquisite jewels dazzle in historic Cartier exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia

5.- Now showing in US cinemas: "Hitler VS Picasso and The Others" directed by Claudio Poli

6.- New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art returns stolen idols to Nepal

7.- Glasgow starts a year of celebration as Charles Rennie Mackintosh exhibition opens

8.- Very rare Qing Dynasty bowl sells for $30.4 million

9.- Gardner Museum publishes "Stolen" book about 13 works in 1990 theft

10.- Royal Ontario Museum announces appointment of Curator, Islamic Art & Culture

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful