Bonhams European Paintings auction offers real treats

European Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture
1 Nov 2012
New York

New York — Bonhams New York auction of European Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture will feature 158 lots comprising a broad range of works by Old Master and 19th century artists from Europe, Eastern Europe and the UK. The offerings combine varied media and styles with many notable works drawn from private collections. The entire sale will be exhibited in San Francisco and New York and sold from the San Francisco saleroom on November 1.

John William Godward's masterwork Waiting for the Procession (est. $400,000-$600,000) highlights the sale. This early, rare, multi-figured painting from 1890 is a significant example of the artist's neo-classical renderings, capturing the perfection and beauty of two Roman patrician women. Considered to be perhaps Godward's most important early work, it was the largest and most expensive painting sold by the artist at the time of its execution.

Antonio Rossetti's intricately carved, white marble sculpture of Esmeralda and Djali, executed in 1867, is on offer in the sale to benefit the Troy Public Library, Troy, NY (est. $60,000-$80,000). It is one of five examples of this subject by Rossetti known to exist, including another version in the collection of The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. Rossetti captures Esmeralda, the main character in Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and her faithful goat Djali, happily dancing in the streets of Paris. The sculpture is mounted on its original rotating, pale grey, classically inspired, circular pedestal.

An unusual pair of early 18th century French paintings depicts expansive bird's-eye views of both the front and rear grounds of a grand estate (est. $60,000-$80,000). As was the fashion of the period, such compositions were commissioned by landowners to be proudly displayed in their residences.

The most significant drawings being offered are five pencil and watercolour on vellum botanical illustrations by Pierre Joseph Redouté (four carry a pre-sale estimate of $40,000-$60,000 each, while the last is estimated at $30,000-$50,000). Redouté produced these pieces for his eight-volume Les Liliacées under the patronage of Empress Josephine between 1802-1816; she purchased the original set that served as the model for engravings by Didot Jeune, Paris.

All 18th century travellers to Venice would have been familiar with the view of the Molo; on offer is a painting of that subject by the artist known as the Master of the Langmatt Foundation Views (est. $35,000-$55,000). In fascinating detail, the artist depicts daily life of the bustling city under blue skies, resulting in a desirable souvenir of La Serenissima.

To view the full collection, bidding information or to purchase the catalogue, please visit

Preview: October 12-14 in San Francisco and October 27-30 in New York
Auction: November 1 in San Francisco


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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