Classic Week sales in July present a vibrant array works of art dating from antiquity to the 20th century. Spanning 14 auctions in total, remarkable lots with extraordinary provenance will be offered across mediums, periods and price points. Works range from a rich offering of paintings, drawings and watercolours across Old Masters, Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite, British Impressionist, 19th Century European and Orientalist Art, to important decorative arts including sculpture, furniture, portrait miniatures and gold boxes, to inspiring books, manuscripts, illustrations, prints, science and natural history. Highlights include a poignant work by Rubens, Thomas Chippendale furniture marking the 300th anniversary year of his birth, Pre-Raphaelite works, two bronzes from the Court of the Sun King Louis XIV of France, illustrations by Quentin Blake and Ancient Greek pottery. Works will be on public view at Christies King Street from 30 June to 12 July.
Antiquities | 3 July
Comprising 116 lots, the Antiquities sale will be led by a Faliscan red-figured calyx-krater, finely decorated with an elaborate scene set in the Underworld (estimate £70,000-90,000). The work is one of only eight known vases attributed to the Nazzano Painter who is considered one of the masters of the Faliscan school. Another highlight is a Roman marble head of the young Commodus, estimated at £50,000-80,000. This extremely powerful and rare portrait successfully captures the youthful arrogance of the Crown Prince, here depicted as a teenager. The sale also features part of the prestigious Resandro Collection of Egyptian art (lot 1-18), including a large bronze of the lion-headed goddess Wadjet-Bast (estimate £50,000-70,000) and a faience shabti for the Royal Scribe Horkebi (estimate £10,000-15,000) previously in the collection of Captain Spencer-Churchill.
Old Master & British Drawings & Watercolours | 3 July
This sale presents a selection of Dutch, French, German, English and Italian drawings, comprising over 150 lots in total. The Italian section is led by an unpublished Architectural Capriccio by Canaletto (estimate: £150,000-200,000). In his capricci Canaletto depended on his study of real cities and landscapes to create pleasing imaginary views, some more fanciful than others. Among the highlights from the section of Northern Drawings, is a previously unknown sheet by Caspar David Friedrich, the towering figure of 19th Century German painting, A Gothic brick building and two studies of trees (estimate: £70,000-100,000), and a group of 20 Dutch 17th and 18th century landscape and topography drawings from the collection Dr. J.A.M. Smit, with estimates ranging from £2,000 to £12,000. Further highlights include The Faerie Queen Appears to Prince Arthur by Johann Heinrich Füssli, Henry Fuseli, R.A. (estimate: £150,000-250,000). Much of Fuselis greatest work took its subject matter from great writers such as William Shakespeare, John Milton, and Edmund Spenser. This drawing depicts the moment when the Faerie Queen, Gloriana, appears in a dream to the knight Arthur, who is the perfection of all virtues. Fuseli also made a large-scale drawing of this subject, now in the Kunstmuseum, Basel. It is an outstanding example of Fuselis virtuoso draughtsmanship and understanding of the pen and ink medium.
Quentin Blake: A Retrospective; Forty Years of Alternative Versions | 3 July to 12 July
This July, Christies will present Quentin Blake: A Retrospective; Forty Years of Alternative Versions, a series of illustrations offered directly from the personal collection of one of Britain's best-loved illustrators. As part of Christies Classic Week, a selection of 30 illustrations by Quentin Blake will be presented in the Valuable Books and Manuscripts auction on 11 July, alongside a dedicated online sale of 148 illustrations open for bidding from 3 to 12 July. The works from this sale are being sold to benefit House of Illustration, Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity and Survival International. Quentin Blake: A Retrospective; Forty Years of Alternative Versions will be on view and open to the public from 7 to 10 July at Christies London. Estimates range from £200 to £10,000.
Treasured Portraits from the Collection of Ernst Holzscheiter | 4 July
Ernst Holzscheiter was a Swiss industrialist who amassed a large collection of over 700 portrait miniatures. After his death in 1962 the majority of the collection was sold but the family decided to retain pieces which they considered to be superlative examples of an artists body of work, and those pieces they liked the most. This group, considered to be the treasures of the collection, are the portraits being offered for sale. The main highlight of the sale is an extremely rare signed and dated portrait of a young gentleman by the Swiss artist Jean-Etienne Liotard (£60,000-80,000). Dated 1749, it was painted during a visit to France, during which time he painted members of the French royal family and members of the French court. This unidentified sitter wears the badge of the Order of Malta. Further works by Continental artists include a signed and dated portrait of Napoleon by Jean-Baptiste Jacques Augustin (estimate: £8,000-12,000) and a signed and dated portrait of Simon Duvivier by François Dumont, who worked for Louis XI, Louis XVI, Napoleon and George Washington (estimate: £20,000-30,000). Among the works by English artists are two good examples of works by Nicholas Hilliard which are both signed and dated (lot75 and 76, estimate: £15,000-25,000 and £8,000-12,000, respectively).
Gold boxes| 4 July
The largest Gold Boxes sale at Christies to date, 106 lots will be offered on 4 July. Previously unrecorded, a Saxon hardstone and gold bonbonnière by Johann Christian Neuber, circa 1785, is an example of his small group of gold boxes that are set with numbered stones in a mosaic pattern between stripes of gold, a technique called Zellenmosaic, which is similar process to creating cloisonné enamel (estimate: £250,000-350,000). Having been in the same family for at least three generations it has not been seen in public before. Born in 1736, Neuber became a master of the goldsmiths guild in Dresden in 1762 and Director of the Green Vaults in 1769. He was appointed Hofjuwelier to the court of Frederich Augustus III in 1775. Responding to an emerging interest in science and geology amongst the European aristocracy, he invented the Steinkabinettabatiere or a snuffbox forming a mineral cabinet, creating in his own words a small portable masterpiece that combined luxury, taste and science. The breadth of the sale is reflected by a Louis XV vari-colour gold-mounted lacquer snuff-box by Jean-François Breton, Paris, 1767/1768, which demonstrates how fashionable Japanese lacquer was at the 18th century French Court (estimate: £50,000-80,000), through to a German gold-mounted hardstone snuffbox in the design of a pug, Dresden, circa 1750 (estimate: £5,000-8,000).
Thomas Chippendale 300 Years | 5 July
On 5 July, Christies landmark sale Thomas Chippendale 300 Years will celebrate the genius of Chippendales designs and the perfection of his execution, in the 300th anniversary year of his birth. The dedicated London auction will present 22 lots with estimates ranging from £5,000 to £5 million. Collectively, the sale encompasses some of the grandest pieces of 18th century furniture ever created, including Sir Rowland Winns Commode (estimate: £3-5million) and The Dundas Sofas (each sofa with an estimate of £2-3million). Remembered as The Shakespeare of English Furniture makers, Chippendale was the master of many mediums. This is highlighted by the breadth of works being offered, including his game-changing book which made his name The Gentleman and Cabinet-Makers Director, first published in 1754, which astutely promoted his designs to the most affluent potential clients of the day (the expanded 1762 3rd edition, estimate: £5,000-8,000) alongside works executed in giltwood, mahogany, marquetry and lacquer. The full pre-sale exhibition will be open to the public from 30 June to 5 July.
The Exceptional Sale 2018 | 5 July
From the Court of King Louis XIV of France, the Sun King, Christies will present two of the most significant sculptures to come to the market in recent years in The Exceptional Sale 2018. A unique rediscovered masterpiece by Louis XIVs Royal sculptor François Girardon, Louis XIV on Horseback, Paris, circa 1690-1699, is believed to be the lost sculpture from the artists own collection, depicted in the famous engraving of the Galerie de Girardon (estimate: £7-10 million). Hercules Overcoming Acheloüs, circa 1640-50 by Florentine sculptor Ferdinando Tacca (1619-1686), was a gift from Louis XIV to his son, the Grand Dauphin, in 1681, remaining in the Royal collection until the Revolution (estimate on request: in the region of £5 million). Both works attest to the significance of Louis XIV as a connoisseur collector, celebrating the very best art from France and beyond. Comprising 30 lots in total, further highlights from The Exceptional Sale include The Stowe Cistern, a George I silver cistern, with the mark of Jacob Margas, London, 1714, which was part of Christies landmark Stowe sale in 1848, when it sold for £330 12s (estimate: £1-1.5 million); The Newhailes Sageot Commode, a Louis XIV ormolu-mounted polychrome-decorated boulle commode, by Nicolas Sageot, circa 1710, which has been in the family collection for at least the last 150 years (estimate: £150,000 250,000) and an Augsburg Masterpiece Clock by Hieronymus Syx, 1705 (estimate: £400,000 600,000).
Old Masters Evening Sale | 5 July
Rubenss highly poignant portrait of his daughter, Clara Serena, offers a rare glimpse into the private life of the greatest artist of the Northern Baroque (estimate: £3-5 million). The Last Judgement is a key work by the Florentine painter and miniaturist Zanobi Strozzi, and the most major monumental panel in the tradition of Fra Angelico to remain in private hands (estimate: £2-4 million). Ludovico Carraccis arresting Portrait of Carlo Alberto Rati Opizzoni in armour is a testament to the artists revolutionary talent that made him a key exponent of the early Italian Baroque (estimate: £3.5-5 million). Further highlights include Rembrandts Christ Presented to the People (Ecce Homo) (estimate on request), being offered from the collection of the late Samuel Josefowitz, which is considered to be among the artists most significant achievements in any medium - executed on a monumental scale and dating to 1655, it is one of only eight known impressions of the celebrated first state of this print and is the last known example in private hands.
From Artist to Woodblock: Japanese Prints Online | 5 to 12 July
Christies will present From Artist to Woodblock: Japanese Prints Online. A highlight of the sale is a fine group of dramatic mythological prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi and Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, amongst others. The sale also includes iconic landscapes by Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige, beautiful women by Kitagawa Utamaro and Chobunsai Eishi, as well as 20th century works by Shin-hanga artists Kawase Hasui and Hashiguchi Goyo. Estimates range from £300 to £30,000.
Old Masters Day Sale | 6 July
One of the many sale highlights includes A rocky river landscape with a cottage on a cliff by Jacob van Ruisdael (estimate £50,000-70,000), a recently re-attributed and previously unpublished work. The careful handling of the composition, and the masterful creation of atmosphere through the subtle effects of light, is characteristic of the painters work at around the time he settled in Amsterdam circa 1656 or 1657. The Madonna and Child enthroned by Vincenzo De Rogata is an addition to the small corpus of the Salernese artist, with only three other known pictures by the master (estimate: £70,000 - 100,000), previously in the collection of Riccardo Gualino (1879-1964), an Italian Industrialist and owner of Fiat. A further highlight is A Concert, an intriguing painting by a very skilled Northern Follower of Caravaggio in the seventeenth century, who likely studied the Roman painters first-hand, or was deeply influenced by artists returning from the city who worked in the painters pioneering style; it was last sold by Christies in 1888 (estimate: £40,000 - 60,000).
Science and Natural History | 10 July
On July 10th Christies will hold its inaugural King Street Science & Natural History auction. On offer will be important examples of: early scientific instruments; meteorites; fine and decorative minerals; and fossils from the ice age to the dawn of life 2.5 billion years ago. Highlights include a Regency armillary sphere (£40,000-£60,000), a rare 150 million year old Jurassic flying lizard (£80,000-£100,000), a large slide of the Esquel meteorite (£25,000-£35,000).
Victorian Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art | 11 July
An artist in her own right, Head study of Marie Spartali Stillman (1844-1927) for 'Dante's Dream', 1870, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti is one of the top lots of the sale (estimate: £200,000-300,000). While images of women predominate Pre-Raphaelite paintings, the wider artistic circle included many talented female artists who made a career out of their craft, alongside their male counterparts. In this centenary year of womens suffrage, Christies is offering a notable group of works by talented female Victorian artists: Portrait of Mary Emma Jones, bust-length, wearing a pearl necklace, 1 874, a recently discovered work by Emma Sandys (estimate: £20,000-30,000); Portraits of Alice Mildred and Winifred Julia Spencer Stanhope, 1884 by Evelyn de Morgan (1855-1919) (estimate: £20,000-30,000); and Study of a woman seated, a man standing behind by Elizabeth Rossetti, née Siddal (1834-1862) (estimate: £1,000- 1,500). The sale also presents the largest and most comprehensive collection of drawings and watercolours by Simeon Solomon to come to the market, comprising some of his rarest and most haunting images (lots 1 to 26). Solomons seemingly endless inventiveness was explored at its best through his core activity, drawing. Despite his early success as one of Rossettis most talented pupils, Solomons star was eclipsed when he was involved in a scandal and arrested. Shunned by Victorian society his powerful and beautiful drawings are only now finally receiving the recognition they deserve. Highlights within the remarkable private collection include Night and her child Sleep, 1892, a subject that fascinated Solomon and which he returned to repeatedly (estimate: £25,000-35,000) and Aspecta Medusa, 1894 which relates to Rossettis poem of the same title and also highlights another recurring theme within his oeuvre (estimate: £4,000-6,000).
Valuable Books and Manuscripts | 11 July
Christies will offer an outstanding array of Books and Manuscripts on 11 July. Highlights include the Plantin Polyglot Bible, one of only 13 copies printed on vellum, produced over 450 years ago for King Phillip II (estimated at £400,000-600,000); Goulds The Birds of Asia which is comprises 7 large folio volumes and 530 fine hand-coloured lithographic plates (estimated £80,000-120,000), and Redoutes Liliacees, one of the most luxurious and spectacular botanical books ever published. This copy was specially produced for the Duchesse de Berry and bound in a sumptuous red morocco gilt binding (estimate £350,000-500,000).
19th Century European & Orientalist Art | 12 July
Comprising a total of 95 lots, the 19th Century European & Orientalist Art sale is led by Giovanni Boldinis Ritratto della Signorina Concha de Oss, 1888 (estimate: £250,000 - 350,000). Along with Sargent and Whistler, Boldini was the choice for members of high society who wanted their portrait painted by one of the most modern artists working in Europe. His bravura technique perfectly captured the nervous energy and high fashion of the period. The present sitter was one of three beautiful Chilean nieces of Boldinis distinguished patron, Luis Subercaseaux. Further highlights include a tale of virtue's triumph over villainy in Susanna und die beiden Alten 1913, by Franz von Stuck (estimate: £200,000-300,000) and Rudolf Ernsts In the Mosque in which he faithfully adheres to the mood and culture that he experienced during his travels, whilst masterfully contrasting textures and colours (estimate: £100,000-150,000).