Bonhams Magazine

Issue 52, Autumn 2017

Page 82

In and out of Bonhams' salerooms

Roll up, Rolls up

Rolls-Royce Phantoms are a rare sight, with only a few built each year. But the unveiling of the eighth generation of Phantom – the first new model in more than a decade – at Bonhams New Bond Street HQ in July was a one-off opportunity for car aficionados to pay homage. Lord March, Jack Lowden and Jo Wood were among those attending the automotive extravaganza, which also marked the launch of The Great Eight Phantoms, a Rolls-Royce exhibition celebrating 92 years of the illustrious model. It included historic examples owned by John Lennon, Sir Malcolm Campbell and Fred Astaire, as well as the Phantom VI owned by HM The Queen.

Walker on the wild side

Missouri-born Walker Evans moved to New York as a young man with dreams of becoming a writer. He even found work in bookstores and New York Public Library in a bid to enhance his literary credentials. However, his real gifts were as a photographer, as two early shots taken with his Vest Pocket Kodak – Wall Street Windows and Brooklyn Stoop – testify. Contact prints of both images are being offered at the Fine Photographs sale in New York in October, and they represent important stepping stones in Evans' career: examples of a highly experimental use of shadow and light. More moderately priced work, by established and emerging photographers, will feature in Bonhams' inaugural Fine Photographs Online sale, which is being held over the same period, running live on the company website for ten days from 29 September.

Sale: Fine Photographs, New York, 2 October; Fine Photographs Online,, 29 September to 9 October

Enquiries: Laura Paterson +1 (917) 206 1653

It's great, Iznik

Sir Alan Barlow (1881-1968) was a distinguished civil servant, who – among other roles – served as Private Secretary to Ramsay MacDonald when the latter was Prime Minister. He was also a connoisseur and an avid collector of ceramics from China and the Near East. Iznik pottery – made between the 15th and 17th century in the Ottoman town of Iznik – was a particular favourite. These wares account for some of the most colourful Islamic pottery ever produced, often enhanced with decorative tulips, roses and carnations. A group of six objects from the Barlow collection (four jugs and two dishes) will feature in the Indian and Islamic sale on 24 October.

Enquiries: Oliver White
+44 (0) 20 7468 8303

Sparkling settings

You might expect the wife of a former owner of Cartier Paris to have a pretty impressive jewellery collection. And so it proves, in the case of Gigi Guggenheim Danziger. Her husband, Edward J. Danziger, a successful American film producer, bought the French section of jewellery house Cartier in 1968, which he kept for four years. In that time and afterwards, Gigi brought together an enviable collection, 32 pieces from which will be offered at Bonhams New York in September's Fine Jewellery sale. These include a number of signed Cartier pieces from the 1960s and 1970s.

Sale: Fine Jewellery from
the Personal Collection
of Gigi Guggenheim Danziger
New York
19 September

Enquiries: Susan Abeles
+1 212 461 6525

On his metal

Sir Alfred Gilbert R.A. is best known for his 1893 statue in Piccadilly, known popularly – but mistakenly – as Eros. However, his breakthrough work came a few years earlier. In Rome in 1880-1881, the artist created his first plaster model of Perseus Arming, which depicts the Greek hero in a vulnerable moment of introspection. The following year, Gilbert cast his sculpture in bronze and exhibited it at the Grosvenor Gallery, to great acclaim. A cast will be offered in the Important Design Sale in London on 25 October where it is estimated to fetch £40,000-60,000.

Enquiries: Jon Baddeley
+44 (0) 20 7393 3872

Erté party

Internationally renowned opera singer Dame Felicity Lott was the star guest at a cocktail party at Bonhams in May to launch an exhibition of costume and set designs by Erté. The 92 original works in gouache and watercolour were made for the 1980 Glyndebourne production of Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier. Some 250 people crowded into Bonhams' main saleroom to hear the soprano – star of the Glyndebourne production – in conversation with private collector Elizaveta Meshkvicheva, the curator of the exhibition. To round off a glittering evening, members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra played the famous string sextet from Strauss's final opera Capriccio.

High caste

On 3 October, Bonhams will hold the sequel to its market-leading sale of Indian, Himalayan, and Southeast Asian Art in Hong Kong, entitled 'Images of Devotion'. Last year, the auction achieved HK$114 million ($14.5m) and broke several records, including the highest price paid
at auction for Tibetan sculpture. This year, the gilded line-up includes a glorious gilt copper-alloy figure of Buddha Akshobhya, from 15th-century Tibet, adorned with a luxurious patchwork robe of finely incised patterns and inset turquoise. The figure is estimated at HK$15,000,000-25,000,000 ($2,000,000-3,000,000).

Meanwhile, as the National Palace Museum in Beijing prepares this winter to hold the first landmark show devoted to Indian art under
the Pala dynasty, the sale also offers the most important Pala bronze to come to auction in almost ten years. This is a canonical copper
and silver inlaid copper-alloy figure of the Crowned Buddha, estimated at HK$8,000,000-12,000,000 ($1,000,000-1,500,000). It comes from 11th-century Kurkihar, which was a pivotal site of pilgrimage and Buddhist learning in the mediaeval Asian world.

Enquiries: Edward Wilkinson +852 2918 4321

West wing

Over the summer, the Leeds branch of Bonhams moved to a grand new home: Bowcliffe Hall in Bramham. Offices in the Grade II-listed building's West Wing will be open from 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday for specialist valuations, consignments and advice on buying and selling at auction. The telephone number for all enquires and to arrange home visits remains +44 113 234 5755. Bonhams' Regional Director for Yorkshire, Simon Mitchell, said, "We look forward to welcoming customers to our new home in the beautiful setting of Bowcliffe Hall. With plentiful car parking and easy access, we're perfectly situated to meet the needs of clients across the county."

Brave new world

On 15 February 1493, as Christopher Columbus was heading home in the Niña after his epoch-making journey to the New World, he set down his exploits in a letter to his patrons, Isabella I and Ferdinand II of Spain. Arriving in Lisbon on 4 March, he dashed off a postscript and sent two copies post-haste to the Court. Within days, news of his discoveries was circulating far and wide, aided by printed copies of the letter. A Latin translation was published in Rome in May 1493, and versions of the Roman edition quickly appeared in Paris, Antwerp and Basel – the first to carry illustrations. An astonishingly rare and fine second edition of the Basel Columbus Letter – it is one of the few ever to reach the market – is to be offered in September's New York Sale of Fine Books and Manuscripts, estimated at $700,000 -1,000,000.

Enquiries: Ian Ehling +1 212 644 9094

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