ZURICH.- Koller Zurich
saw strong results at the auction of Modern and Swiss Art on 7 December thanks to bidding from around the world. A scene with fishermen by Salvador Dalí went to a private collection for CHF 4.4 million. Paul Signacs Château Gaillard from 1921 was sold for CHF 4.16 million, also to a private buyer. Albert Anker remains the lead runner of the Swiss artists, with a result of CHF 3.4 million for the work Boy writing from 1875.
We are both proud and pleased to have demonstrated once again that the best international art can be sold at auction for top prices here in Zurich, says auctioneer Cyril Koller.
Modern and Contemporary Art
On two occasions prices go over four million
The work Landscape near Port Lligat with familiar angels and fishermen , an oil on canvas produced in 1950 after Dalìs return to Spain, was a key component in the renowned collection of the New York advertising pioneer Albert D. Lasker and his wife Mary Lasker. The painting was offered at auction with an estimate of CHF 2.8 / 3.5 million at Koller auctions and made the fantastic price of CHF 4.4 million (lot 3238).
Paul Signacs depiction of the fortress Château Gaillard erected by Richard the Lionheart in the 12th century in Andelys is a masterpiece of the pointillist technique. The perfect condition and the unique view of the castle seen from the Seine, earned this painting an estimate of CHF 3.2 to 3.8 million. At the auction at Koller Zurich, a telephone bidder came through with a bid, including commission, of CHF 4.16 million (lot 3227).
A bidder in the room acquired the fine watercolour by Emil Nolde for CHF 228 000 (lot 3214); a small bronze bust of Helene von Nostitz by Auguste Rodin (lot 3205) reached CHF 165 000 and Karl Hofers Girl with flag (lot 3230) went under the hammer for CHF 132 000. Amongst the contemporary art, the diptych by the American Abstract Expressionist Joan Mitchell went for CHF 84 000 which was double the lower estimate (lot 3328).
Anker holding the top position
Despite the snowstorms, every seat was taken in the salesroom. Bidding was correspondingly lively. The top lots by Albert Anker once again enjoyed success at the Swiss Art auction. The still life tea service crossed the CHF 1 million barrier with a price of CHF 1.75 million. (lot 3012). The classic depiction of a boy writing with his sister, saw a bidder in the room pit himself against two determined interested parties on the telephone, with a final price of CHF 3.45 million (lot 3016), which elicited great applause from those present.
The small 31x31cm painting of a girl at the breakfast table - again by Albert Anker (lot 3026) - went to a private telephone bidder for CHF 595 000. Also sold to a telephone bidder were the two paintings by Giovanni Giacometti: Sera dinverno, Corvatsch (lot 3051) was sold for CHF 360 000 and Bergbach (lot 3063) was worth CHF 480 000 to a collector.
Chagall, Picasso and Warhol greatly sought after
The 1982 colour silk screen by Andy Warhol offered by Koller in December with a depiction of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, had formerly belonged to the Andy-Warhol-Foundation and had come to auction in Zurich via a German private collection. The silk screen estimated at CHF 35 000 made a final price of CHF 51 600 (lot 3516). Two colour lithographs by Marc Chagall also sold well. Le Grand Bouquet from 1963 with a bouquet of flowers in orange, pink and lilac made a price of CHF 30 000 (lot 3483) and Les arums from 1975, of an edition of 50, sold for CHF 33 600 (lot 3484).
Three works by Pablo Picasso were also successful. The etching of a pensive seated young woman from 1951, which is listed in the catalogue raisonné of both Bloch and Baer, went to a new owner for CHF 15 600 (lot 3426). A further early Picasso etching entitled Rembrandt à la Palette from 1932 from an edition of 250, reached CHF 10 200 (lot 3431) and a stoneware plate from 1950 entitled corrida aux personnages went from an estimate of CHF 8 000 to a final price of CHF 10 200 (lot 3421).
The collection of Pierre-Jules Mêne
Of the auction of the more valuable items at Koller West, of special note was the 70 % sales turnover for the collection of 176 bronzes by Pierre-Jules Mêne. The works offered at Koller Auctions were in such outstanding condition, that many went for several times their estimate. The top lot, which sold for CHF 25 200, was the model Valet de chasse et sa harde (lot 1806). A further hunting scene with a Scottish hunter (Chasse en écosse) made a price of CHF 22 800 (lot 1887). An Arab falconer on horseback which was shown at the 1900 Centennale exhibition of French art in Paris, made a price of CHF 20 400 (lot 1808) and the bronze of a deer hunt doubled its estimate of CHF 8 000, selling for a price of CHF 19 200 (lot 1863).
Furniture and Decorations
A strong mid price segment
Koller Zurich has traditionally enjoyed a solid customer base for its fine furniture and decorations. The main focus on 6 December was for attractive works in the mid price segment. A 1795 pink-coloured Louis XVI porcelain lyre clock from a Paris master workshop consequently went for CHF 360 000 to a private German buyer (lot 1154). lot 1060, a large Louis XIV tapestry with a scene depicting the Biblical figure Clorinda, which left the workshop of Sébastien de La Planche in 1680, with a top estimate of CHF 70 000, went for a price of CHF 91 200. A fine classic commode à fleurs in tulipwood and purpleheart by the Paris master Pierre Walter made a price of CHF 48 000 (lot 1105). A Roman micromosaic plaque circa 1800/1830, with a depiction of a stately interior courtyard with a view of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul elicited a good deal of interest in the afternoon of the sale. After much bidding on the telephone, it was sold to buyer in England for CHF 43 200 (lot 1203). A Russian entrepreneur was then interested in a mantel clock with musical movement Amour et le Fou. The fine Louis-XVI clock with a dial by Charles François Barbier, called Le Jeune from 1770 went from a starting price of CHF 16 000 to a sale price of CHF 36 000 (lot 1178). A somewhat higher price of CHF 52 800 was paid for a Regence/Louis XV chest of drawers en arbalète, circa 1730 (lot 1115) which went to a Swiss private collection.
Jewellery and Wristwatches
Very good results for old jewellery with large gemstones
The auction of jewellery and wristwatches at Koller Zurich put on a fine show before a full auction room and many telephone bidders, with a particularly rich range of old jewellery set with large precious stones. The top lot of the day was, however, a loose brilliant-cut diamond of 6.03 carats, which was sold to a Swiss private buyer at the middle range of its estimate at a price of CHF 882 500 (lot 2084). In second place with CHF 384 000 was an alexandrite and diamond ring set in white gold from 1960, which was estimated at CHF 40 000 (lot 2154). The third best result was for a diamond brooch with a Ceylon sapphire in the centre circa 1910, with a top estimate of CHF 30 000. This made CHF 186 000 (lot 2130). Further top objects were two rings with a central Ceylon sapphire encircled with diamonds. The model by E. Meister from 1960 made CHF 114 000 (lot 2009) and the model made in 1935 at the Chaumet workshop reached CHF 108 000 (lot 2131). Signed jewellery also achieved very good results. A clip brooch with diamonds, emeralds and onyx in the form of a recumbent panther sold for CHF 90 000, which was within the estimate (lot 2142).
Amongst the watches, two Rolex gentlemans wristwatches made the best results. The 1980s Day-Date model in gold and precious stones was sold for CHF 21 600 (lot 2313), and a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona circa 1967 doubled its estimate, thanks to the large number of telephone bidders, with a result of CHF 22 800 (lot 2321).
A reliquary figure makes CHF 33 600 for the Hanela Foundation
At the African Art auction run jointly by Koller Auctions and Galerie Walu, a Kota reliquary figure with an estimate of CHF 6 000 to CHF 8 000 was sold for CHF 33 000. The proceeds from this rare and very well conserved figure go to the Hanela Foundation, which supports people in need (lot 1719). The figures, known by the Kota people as mbulu-ngulu, would surmount and watch over a reliquary holding the remains of an important person. For a prestigious object from the Asante tribe a sword emblem in the form of a tortoise made in a precious gold alloy a bidder was prepared to pay CHF 16 800 (lot 1657). A Bama mask, which was used at Korè initiation ceremonies to mark the start of adolescence, reached a price of CHF 12 000 (lot 1576). Furthermore, two figures in the style of Kykaden culture caused a small sensation when they each found a new owner for CHF13 200 which was 20 times the lower estimate (lots 1559/1560).