Issue 34, Spring 2013

Editor's letter

One of the endless fascinations with art is wondering what will be sought after by generations to come. In this spring issue, there are a number of works featured that, at the time they were produced, most people wouldn't have given house room to – let alone paid good money for. Yet there have always been collectors who see something in an artwork that only becomes apparent to others in the years to come.

In March, an album of Lady Hawarden's photographs is being offered in the Historical Photographs sale. Mark Haworth-Booth, the former curator at the V&A, describes how this pioneering photographer's work was only properly rediscovered some 100 years after her death. Or take the case of Lucian Freud. On page 36, Richard Calvocoressi writes about a drawing of a dead puffin that the precocious Freud drew, aged 22, in 1944. Priced 13 guineas, it would have been only for the very brave collector. Now we see in it the forensic skill that prefigures Freud's later masterpieces.

Of course, there are some works that will always divide the world. Vladimir Tretchikoff's Chinese Girl, for example. Loved and loathed in equal measure, the image of the woman with the green face is the most reproduced print of all time. In March, the original oil painting on which it is based comes for sale in Bonhams South Africa Sale. On page 42, the designer Wayne Hemingway puts the case for its appeal and Boris Gorelik tracks down the model and finds out what she thinks about her face being a global phenomenon.

There are, of course, some objects that are prized the moment they are created: the star item of New Bond Street's Fine Jewelry sale in April, for example. I defy anyone not to be dazzled by the Bulgari Blue diamond ring – a superb example of a very rare stone.

Enjoy the issue.

Lucinda Bredin

  1. Page 17

    Inside Bonhams: The real Knight rider

    James Knight has had a super-charged career. But, as Andrew English discovers, the journey has been more by accident than by design

    Just when you think that James Knight, Bonhams Group Director of Motoring, is going to be a bit of a tough egg, he disarms you by telling the story of his most memorable sale. It turns out this ...

  2. Page 24

    The big blue

    That most precious of stones, the blue diamond, has always exerted a dangerous fascination. As Bonhams offers a dazzling Bulgari ring, Katherine Prior looks at why these gems generate such excitement

    There is something about blue diamonds. Whether old or new, whenever they come up for sale, it is an event – and the sale records tumble. In 1984, the Tereschenko ...

  3. William Robinson (born 1936) Blue Pools Springbook, Springbook to Beechmont, 2000

    Page 28

    Pioneering spirit

    For the past 40 years, Colin and Elizabeth Laverty led the way in acquiring contemporary Australian art. To mark the auction of part of their collection in March, John McDonald visited the Lavertys shortly before Colin's death last month

    William Robinson was a late starter. He didn't begin to exhibit until well into his fifties. Although the quality ...

  4. Mel Ramos (American, born 1935) The Trickster, 1962 44 x 50 in. (111.7 x 127cm)

    Page 32

    Strip club

    In a lightbulb moment, various 60s artists stimultaneously turned to comic-strip imagery for inspiration – but only one is still alive. Adrian Dannatt assesses Mel Ramos, the Grand Old Man of Pop Art

    BLAM! BIFF! WHAMM and why not WHOOSH to boot – the classic American comic strips were as loathsome to the cultural elite of the era as they proved exhilarating ...

  5. Lucian Freud (British, 1922-2011) Oil-bound puffin 22.2 x 30.7 cm. (8 3/4 x 12 1/8 in.)

    Page 36

    Taking flight

    In his early years, drawing rather than painting was Lucian Freud's preferred medium. Richard Calvocoressi looks at an exquisite work from 1944

    Lucian Freud was the greatest painter of the human frame in the latter part of the 20th century. A grandson of Sigmund Freud, he came to England with his family from Berlin in 1933, at the age ...

  6. The Roy Davids Collection. Part III. Poetry: Poetical Manuscripts and Portraits of Poets. First Session (A-K)

    Page 38

    Back to the source

    There is an enduring fascination with the creative process – no more so than with original manuscripts. Here, four distinguished critics reflect on some of the works in the Roy Davids Sale, and what rewrites may reveal

    John Sutherland on Charlotte Brontë

    I've been wandering in the greenwoods
    And mid flowery smiling plains
    I've been listening to the dark ...

  7. Vladimir Griegorovich Tretchikoff (South African, 1913-2006) 'Chinese Girl'

    Page 42

    Love it or loathe it

    It might horrify art critics, but Vladimir Tretchikoff's Chinese Girl is one of the world's most reproduced works. Now the original painting will be offered at Bonhams. Designer Wayne Hemingway admires its appeal

    Growing up in Morecambe with a Nan who loved to fill the house with 'exotica' and mass-market artworks, I never paid much notice to the ...

  8. Sokari Douglas-Camp (British, born 1958), 'Naked Fish'  200cm (78 3/4in) high

    Page 46

    Whole new territory

    Robert Devereux fell in love with Africa – and then with its art. He talks to Mark Palmer about how his life has been changed by the continent's artists.

    Portrait by Richard Cannon

    Robert Devereux is not the first European to develop an abiding passion for Africa – but he is in a league of his own when it comes to ...

  9. Page 48

    Platform: What made him tick?

    It all started when Christian Levett put a mark beside 'antiquities' in the catalog list. Now he has one of the world's best private collections of classical art – and he had to build a museum to store it. Lucinda Bredin meets him to discuss his compulsive collecting

    In the crypt of Mougins Museum of Classical Art, there is an ...

  10. Books, Maps, Manuscripts & Historical Photographs

    Page 52

    What the lady saw

    The photographs of Clementina, Viscountess Hawarden are now instantly recognizable – but her images only came to light by accident, as Mark Haworth-Booth remembers

    I first became aware of the compelling name of Clementina, Viscountess Hawarden – to give it in full – in 1972. That was the year of a landmark exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum titled From Today Painting is ...

  11. Page 57

    Wine: Pass on the port

    Once considered a health-giving elixir, Port's popularity in Britain has been on the wane. But, as Bruce Palling is delighted to report, it is being savored once more

    Does Port have an image problem? Well, the evidence is quite contradictory. Many people consider that Port drinking belongs to the vanishing era of gentlemen's clubs and over-indulgent dinners rather ...

  12. Page 58

    Travel: Now and zen

    Kyoto has ancient temples and cutting-edge architecture. Matthew Wilcox bows to the Venice of the east

    When Akira Kurosawa's film Rashomon premiered in 1950, the studio chief stood up halfway through and walked out in disgust. Not only was the film totally incomprehensible, but to add insult to injury, it seemed to contain only a single set: Kurosawa had ...

  13. Page 72

    My favorite room: Akram Khan

    Akram Khan, who choreographed the Olympics Opening Ceremony, dips into Tate Modern's Turbine Hall and Tanks

    If I have any time off, I go to Tate Modern with my wife. I love the Turbine Hall and in July I discovered the Tate Tanks. BBC News asked me to review Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker's performance there of a very ...