See history in a new light this Classic Week at Christies
London, with four live auctions and three online sales celebrating the breadth of human creativity from antiquities to modern classics. The series will run from 25 November to 15 December. Auction highlights will be on public view in Hong Kong (25 to 28 November) before the London pre-sale exhibition opens to the public on 2 December.
This seasons highlights include Jean-François de Troys The Reading Party, one of the French Rococo painters finest tableaux de mode loosely translated as fashionable pictures coming from The Collection of Lord and Lady Weinstock (estimate: £2,000,000-3,000,000); a portrait of Desiderius Erasmus by Hans Holbein the Younger and Workshop (estimate: £1,000,000- 1,500,000); Anthony Van Dycks captivating portrait of Queen Henrietta Maria (estimate: £2,000,000-4,000,000); a majestic Roman marble Athena and the fourth part of ancient engraved gems formerly in the G. Sangiorgi Collection. The online sale of Old Master Paintings and Sculpture offers works of art at accessible price points, including some lots without reserves.
Elsewhere, bibliophiles will find over 200 lots spanning printed books, maps, medieval manuscripts and autograph letters in our Valuable Books and Manuscripts auction, led by a beautiful copy of Gerard Mercators 1595 Atlas. The dedicated sale of The Collection of Marvin L. Colker is a fine tribute to the late Emeritus Professor of Classics at the University of Virginia. A host of fine British and European Art is presented across an online sale and a live auction, with works by Jean Béraud, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, John William Waterhouse and Sir Alfred James Munnings.
25 November at 11am - 9 December at 11 am GMT | Online Auction
Old Master Paintings and Sculpture
The Old Master Paintings and Sculpture online sale offers a broad selection of works across all schools of European painting and sculpture, from the 14th to the mid-19th centuries, including some lots with no reserves. The sale features a fine group of Dutch paintings from the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection, including a detailed A fortified town with figures bathing by Jan van der Heyden (estimate: £70,000-90,000). The collection also comprises excellent examples of early wood carvings that lead the sculpture portion of the sale such as a figure of Saint Michael from circa 1500-1510 (estimate: £35,000-45,000) alongside fine works of art including a rare 17th century pair of jasper vases (estimate: £70,000-90,000). The Italian school is well represented by an Annunciation by Lavinia Fontana (estimate: £40,000-60,000) and an early Christ with the symbols of the Passion by Jacopo del Sellaio (estimate: £50,000-80,000), with a Merchant shipping at the wharfside below Old London Bridge by Thomas Luny (estimate: £50,000-80,000) leading the charge for eighteenth-century English art. A total of 106 works will be offered with estimates ranging from £5,000 to £150,000.
28 November at 11am - 12 December at 11am GMT | Online Auction
The Collection of Marvin L. Colker
Christies is proud to offer for the sale The Collection of Marvin L. Colker (1927- 2020), Emeritus Professor of Classics at the University of Virginia, world- renowned palaeographer, classicist, author of the first comprehensive catalogue of the manuscripts at Trinity College Dublin (a herculean endeavour that took over 30 years), and collector of manuscripts. This sale is a testament to the breadth and depth of his collecting, spanning more than 1,500 years of written history and subject matters ranging from astrology to music, literature, medicine, Church history, humanism, liturgy, Hebraica, law and theology. There are leaves from important manuscripts such as the St Albans Abbey Bible, the Hungerford Hours, the Chester Beatty Book of Hours; manuscripts in Catalan, Picard, French, Italian and Hebrew; examples of Beneventan, Carolingian, Visigothic and Scandinavian script; and rare and unusual texts and authors. The highlight of the sale is a papyrus (P. Colker), impeccably provenanced, widely published and exhibited, that offers the first evidence that the Ancient Greeks were aware of Babylonian Lunar Theory (estimate: £100,000-150,000). A total of 162 lots will be offered, many without reserve, with estimates ranging from £700 to £150,000.
1 December at 2pm - 15 December at 2pm GMT | Online Auction
British and European Art: Online
Christies British and European Art: Online sale features a curated selection of works representing over 100 years of the history of art from Britain and the heart of Europe. The auction features a strong group of British and European Impressionist pictures by artists such as Sir Alfred Munnings, Dame Laura Knight, Harold Knight, Sir George Clausen, Léon Augustin Lhermitte, Emile Claus and Edward Seago. Alongside these are characterful portraits by George Spencer Watson, Gerald Leslie Brockhurst and Philip de László. Topographical views of Venice by artists such as Federico del Campo, Enrique Serra and Giovanni Grubacs. Other highlights include an important work by the female artist Bertha Wegmanns and a selection of childrens and book illustrations by Arthur Rackham, Jessie Marion King, Elisabeth Sonrel and Walter Crane. A total of 63 works will be offered with estimates ranging from £1,000 to £100,000.
7 December at 1pm GMT | Live Auction
Antiquities: Including Ancient Engraved Gems Formerly in the G. Sangiorgi Collection Part IV
Christies forthcoming Antiquities sale includes a selection of artefacts spanning the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean basin from the Neolithic Period to the great migrations that followed the fall of the Roman Empire. The sale is led by an imposing Roman marble statue of the goddess Athena in the Classicising style, which took inspiration from Classical Greek originals (estimate: £700,000-900,000). This elegant sculpture was once in the collection of the famed Chicago-born technologist and philanthropist Max Palevsky (1924-2010). The Greek and Roman section of the sale will also include a marble portrait of Hermarchos of Mytilene, the pupil of Epicurus who, after his masters death, took over the running of the famous Epicurean school in Athens (estimate: £120,000-180,000), and a striking marble portrait of a young athlete from the famed Lansdowne Collection (estimate: £200,000-300,000).
Christies is also pleased to announce that the sale will include Part IV of Masterpieces in Miniature: Ancient Engraved Gems Formerly in the G. Sangiorgi Collection. The section comprises 50 lots of the most sought-after and captivating intaglios and cameos still in private hands. The gems presented here once formed part of a much larger collection assembled by Giorgio Sangiorgi (1886- 1965), an important Roman dealer, scholar and connoisseur, who operated a gallery in the Palazzo Borghese. Highlights include an important group of Graeco-Persian gems finely carved with fantastical beasts and heroes in contest; a fine Etruscan scarab from the famed Cook Collection of gems (estimate: £15,000-20,000); and a Roman carnelian intaglio carved with the imposing bust of the philosopher Epicurus (estimate: £15,000-20,000). A total of 131 works will be offered with estimates ranging from £500 to £900,000.
8 December at 6:30pm GMT | Live Auction
Old Masters Evening Sale
Spanning six centuries of European art, the December Old Masters Evening Sale includes a rich array of paintings, sculptures and works on paper, covering a multitude of subjects. Highlights include a beautifully tender Portrait of Queen Henrietta Maria by Anthony van Dyck, which hung at Warwick Castle for over two centuries (estimate: £2,000,000-4,000,000); a scene of a sumptuously dressed, sun-dappled Reading Party by the great 18th century French painter, Jean-François de Troy from The Collection of Lord and Lady Weinstock (estimate: £2,000,000-3,000,000); and a recently re-discovered portrait of Erasmus by the most incisive portraitist of the sixteenth century in northern Europe, Hans Holbein the Younger and Workshop (estimate: £1,000,000-1,500,000). The sale also features a significant group of early Italian gold ground paintings from the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection and a group of Italian view paintings by leading exponents of the genre, including Michele Marieschi, Francesco Guardi and Antonio Joli. A total of 30 works will be offered with estimates ranging from £30,000 to £4,000,000.
13 December at 2pm GMT | Live Auction
British and European Art: Part I
Christies British and European Art: Part I auction in London features a tightly curated selection of exceptional works representing more than a century of the dynamism of the 19th century in Britain and the heart of Europe. The sale is led by John William Waterhouses stunning Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May (estimate: £700,000-1,000,000). Other Pre-Raphaelite highlights include works by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and Sir Edward Burne-Jones. The auction features beautiful Belle Époque works by Jéan Beraud and Alfred Stevens which shine alongside works from Jean-Baptiste-Camille-Corot, Jean-François Millet, Théodore Gericault and an incredible depiction of the Château de Chillon by Gustave Courbet (estimate: £400,000-6,000). The sale also features Symbolist drawings from the collection of Hartmuth Jung including works by Carlos Schwabe, Edward Robert Hughes and Frederick Sandys. There is a strong group of British Impressionist pictures by leading artists such as Dame Laura Knight, Henry Herbert La Thangue, Walter Langley and Sir Alfred Munnings. A total of 42 works will be offered with estimates ranging from £30,000 to £1,000,000.
14 December at 10:30am GMT | Live Auction
Valuable Books and Manuscripts
Christies Valuable Books and Manuscripts auction on 14 December comprises over 200 lots, spanning printed books, maps, medieval manuscripts and autograph letters. The sale presents cartographic gems from the 16th-century including a beautiful copy of Gerard Mercators 1595 Atlas with contemporary hand-colouring (estimate: £300,000-500,000), which is offered alongside a 1577 Portolan Chart of the Mediterranean (estimate: £70,000-100,000). Further highlights of the travel and exploration include a flag carried to the South Pole by Roald Amundsen (estimate: £100-000-150,000).
Important early European printing such as Ulrich von Richenthals Concilium zu Konstanz (1483) (estimate: £80,000-120,000), the first printed armorial, gives way to highly decorative 18th and 19th century editions including Christoph Jakob Trew's Hortus nitidissimis (estimate: £80,000-120,000), one of the finest and most sumptuous botanical works of the 18th century, and Pierre-Joseph Redoutés famous Les Roses (estimate: £60,000-90,000). Ground-breaking works of science range from a first-edition of Newtons Principia (1687) (estimate: £250,000-350,000) to rare offprints from Tesla and Claude Shannon, who published the first technical paper on computer chess in 1950 (estimate: £10,000-15,000). An appealing collection of James Bond first editions opens with Ian Flemings most sought-after book, Casino Royale (1953) (estimate: £20,000- 30,000).
Medieval and Renaissance manuscript highlights include an iconic 11th century Byzantine miniature (estimate: £20,000-30,000), sumptuous Books of Hours (estimate: £70,000-100,000), and a collection of miniatures and leaves from an important European private collection. At the centre of the autographs section is a Mozart music manuscript leaf and a collection of composers letters, with further autograph material from Isaac Newton, Henry VIII, Darwin, Churchill, Freud, Jung and others. A total of 235 works will be offered with estimates ranging from £600 to £500,000.