GENEVA.- Piguet Auction House
will be presenting exclusively the unpublished works of two masters of Swiss art: Albert Anker and Ferdinand Hodler. Around 120 sketches, watercolours and oil paintings directly from Albert Ankers family will appear on the market for the first time at the sale on Wednesday 20th June with a global estimate of CHF 320,000-480,000. The Hodler collection includes around 15 drawings and objects that have remained in the family until the present day. Among these are the studies for greatest masterpieces of the artist.
During the viewing from 15th-17th June, visitors can also see a variety of superb publications with high quality covers and bindings as well as rare books on travel from the 16th to 20th centuries from the Louis Rey collection. Professor of Sciences, Rey went beyond his role of scientist to become an inventor and explorer with research expeditions in the Far North, leading him to make major technological and ecological advances.
This June 2018 auction will also include Olympic medals from the most celebrated Swiss athlete ever, Asian art, Silverware, Fine Jewellery and Watches, bringing the global estimate to CHF 3-4 million.
A window onto the intimate life of Albert Anker
This June, Piguet Auction House will reveal an important ensemble of around 120 works directly from the estate of Albert Anker. None of the works has ever appeared on the market and the vast majority have never been on public view; such is the exclusive nature of their presentation.
This exceptional collection will attract followers of the artist without a doubt. Emblematic works of the artist such as the portrait of Marie Anker writing in which his dexterity in portraying the innocence of his sitters in a calm and harmonious atmosphere can be appreciated clearly by the onlooker (lot 1128 estimated at CHF 200,000-300,000).
This collection also reveals an ensemble of sketches and drawings which shed light on the intimate life of the painter. With very little effort, his abundant talent allowed him to capture brief moments in daily life as they happened before him. This affords visitors viewing his works a better understanding of his creative process and opens the door on to the private life of this artist. It is indeed in his private life that the preparatory study for the oil painting The new born was captured (lot 1109 CHF 2,000-3,000) as well as his sketch pad entitled Nursery containing drawings of scenes from a childs life portrayed in a very touching manner (lot 1145 estimated at CHF 5,000-8,000).
In 1901, Anker suffered from a seizure that left him with a paralysed right hand. However, he completed a preparatory study for The Gleaner carrying an inscription on the back which reads: done with the left hand in 1901 (lot 1113 estimated at CHF 8,000-12,000).
The Ferdinand Hodler collection
Running simultaneously to the exhibition organised by Genevas Art and History Museum and the Kunstmuseum in Bern to mark 100 years since the death of Ferdinand Hodler, Piguet Auction House will sell a selection of drawings and objects from the estate of the artist that have been sheltered away to this day.
Many of the studies to be put up for auction were the grounds for the creation and realisation of some of Hodlers masterpieces. Preparatory works for Daytime (Le jour) and Endless gaze (Regard vers linfini) - housed at the Kunstmuseum in Bern and Kunstmuseum in Winterthur - will be presented for sale (lots 1092 and 1080, estimated at CHF 1,500-2,500 and CHF 1,000-1,500).
Other pieces from the collection include fine and rare silverware and brassware by Joseph Hoffman, one of the forerunners of the Bauhaus (lots 337, 338 and 339).
Professor Louis Rey, one of the first defenders of the Far North
Though preserving and protecting the environment has become more common practice these days, decades ago there were those who pioneered it and strove to increase awareness. Professor Louis Rey was one such person and he dedicated his life to it. Piloting a plane he shared with Jacques Brel, Rey organised his first scientific expeditions to the Far North to study anthropology of the Artic civilisations. Over the course of his travels, he realised the importance of conserving these vast expanses of undisturbed wilderness.
From the back of his dog sled in Greenland to the many conferences held at the most prestigious universities, Louis Rey never ceased in his quest to protect the Far North. Discreet yet highly influential, to advance his research he approached and worked with some of the greatest monarchs and politicians of his time, notably His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, consort to Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. In 1979 Rey created the Comité Arctique International with the support of His Serene Highness Rainier III, Prince of Monaco who he took a few years later to the Far north in the company of his son H.S.H. Prince Albert II, following in the footsteps of the Prince navigateur Albert I (lot 54).
To better defend his cause, Louis Rey built up an important collection of travel literature from the 16th to 20th centuries to study these remote regions. A very rare book describes the Dutch expeditions of the 16th century during which India is reached from the north (lot 7 estimated at CHF 20,000-30,000), while another work in eight volumes retraces stories from 18th century voyages (lot 29 CHF 5,000-8,000).
The professor kept close relations with other explorers of his time such as Paul-Emile Victor (lot 76).
An important antiquarian and modern book sale
Rivalling the largest international books and manuscripts sales, Piguet Auction House will present an important sale session in antiquarian and modern books. Among the star lots are the travel books from the Louis Rey collection as well as a fine ensemble of modern illustrated books with covers by 20th century artists, for example, a magnificent copy of Horribles et espouvantables faictz et prouesses du très renommé Pantagruel Roy illustrated by Derain in the Rabelaisian spirit (lot 197 CHF 8,000-12,000). Other Swiss books include rare original editions of Rodolphe Töpffer, precursor of the comic strip (lots 142 to 155).
Olympic medals from the Swiss athlete with the most wins in history to be sold at auction
Swiss sporting legend Georges Miez (Töss 1904 - 1999 Savosa) was one of the countrys greatest gymnasts of all time and remains the Swiss athlete with the most Olympic medals to his name.
He participated in four consecutive Olympic games (Paris 1924, Amsterdam 1928, Los Angeles 1932, Berlin 1936) bringing home eight medals, four of which were gold. At the Berlin games of 1936, Miez won the gold medal and received a young, potted oak tree. Whilst many oak trees have been felled or have disappeared over time, George Miezs tree was planted and has matured into a fine specimen that can be admired today next to the track at Deutweg Stadium in Winterthur.
Passed down through the family over the generations, four out of the eight medals will be put up for auction exclusively by Piguet this June: Two won at the Amsterdam games in 1928 (lots 475 and 476) and two won at the Berlin games in 1936 (lots 477 and 478).