Around the Globe

Bonhams Magazine

Issue 54, Spring 2018

Page 72

Andrew Currie looks at a selection of Bonhams sales around the world

Los Angeles
Club class

Few people associate weapons with art, but the beautiful Pole Club from the Cook Islands to be offered in Los Angeles in May confounds expectations. The akatara, as it is known in Maori, is a fearsome 300cm long, but its top is perfectly carved into a tear-shaped form with delicately scalloped edges. The club is just one object in the sale of a private, single-owner collection of weapons, shields, staffs and textiles, meticulously gathered over 30 years. Although intended for war, every item shows wonderful mastery of design, form, construction and beauty.

Image: Cook Islands' Pole Club
Estimate: $80,000 - 120,000
Sale: Exceptional African, Oceanic and South American Arms, Armour and Textiles from a Private European Collection, Los Angeles, 22 May 2018
Enquiries: Fred Backlar
+1 323 436 5416

Los Angeles
Bucking the trend

Nobody captured the rugged outdoor appeal of life in the American West better than Armin Hansen (1886-1957). A native of San Francisco, he – like so many American artists of the time – spent some years studying in Europe, returning before World War I. His masterly Salinas Rodeo comes to the Californian and Western Paintings sale in Los Angeles in April fresh from a starring role in a major Hansen retrospective in California. Its characteristically wild colour and brushwork amplifies the intensity of the scene, which depicts two cowboys wrangling broncos at a rodeo in Monterey County, California.

Image: Armin Hansen, Salinas Rodeo
Estimate: $150,000 - 250,000
Sale: California and Western Paintings and Sculpture, Los Angeles, 24 April
Enquiries: Scot Levitt
+1 323 436 5425

The real dealer

During her long life, the art dealer Manya Igel was no stranger to drama. Alone among her family, she survived the Holocaust, fleeing to London on the very last Kindertransport from Danzig. Following a spell as an actor – the theatre bug would never leave her – she became a legendary dealer, carving out a niche in modern British art. Famed for her generosity to artists – unique among dealers, she always bought works from them outright rather than on sale or return – she also built up her own personal collection of pictures. Including The Dressing Room by Laura Knight (£30,000-50,000) and the beautiful Still Life with Yellow Lilies, Fruit and Fritillaries by Mary Fedden, it comes to auction at Knightsbridge in March.

Image: Still Life with Yellow Lilies,
Fruit and Fritillaries by Mary Fedden
Estimate: £6,000 - 8,000
Sale: Paintings from the Collection of the Late Manya Igel,
London, 13 March
Enquiries: Jenny Hardie
+44 (0) 20 7393 3949

Hong Kong
Ancient and modern

Given Hong Kong's reputation for restless energy and innovation, it is no surprise to find Bonhams Hong Kong pioneering a new kind of sale. Ritual + Culture, to be held in March, teams Bonhams in-house specialists with the Singapore-based Modern Asian art consultants, Art Agenda S.E.A. The result is a sale that spans the last two millennia and marries classical and pre-modern works with modern and contemporary art from the 20th and 21st centuries. A sonorous Dong Son drum from 1st-century Vietnam (estimated at HK$400,000-600,000) rubs shoulders with Filipino artist Ronald Ventura's 2008 landmark work Appetite (estimated at HK$1,200,000-1,600,000) in a sale that offers a new understanding of continuities and diversity in South-east Asian art.

Sale: Ritual + Culture:
Fine South East Asian Arts
Inaugural Auction, Hong Kong, 29 March (preview 23-29 March)
Enquiries: Edward Wilkinson
+852 2918 4321

Flower of Scotland

Like his fellow Scottish Colourists, Duncan Fergusson spent the years before World War I in Paris absorbing first-hand the work of the Fauves – not least Matisse and Derain – and the city's other avant-garde artists. Developing an original and dynamic oeuvre, he became arguably the most progressive British artist during the earliest years of the 20th century. Unlike his fellow Scottish Colourists, however, Fergusson painted relatively few still lives. A rare example, executed in Paris around 1910, is offered in The Scottish Sale in Edinburgh in April.

Image: Still Life by J.D. Fergusson
Estimate: £70,000 - 100,000
Sale: The Scottish Sale, Edinburgh, 25 April
Enquiries: Chris Brickley
+44 131 240 2297

New York
Raising the bar

It's not often that a work in Beethoven's own hand comes to light, but the Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in New York on 9 March will offer a sketch-leaf written by the master as part of his Scottish Song, 'Sunset', Op. 108; it was used as a setting for Walter Scott's poem 'The Sun upon the Weirdlaw Hill'. Between 1809 and 1820, Beethoven composed 179 Scottish, Irish and Welsh folksongs, commissioned by Robert Burns' great friend, the music publisher George Thomson. Although the songs were written in a simple style, with amateur performers in mind, the extensive editing on the sketch-leaf shows that Beethoven took the commission extremely seriously, and provides a fascinating insight into a genius at work.

Image: Sketch-leaf from Beethoven's
setting of a poem by Sir Walter Scott
Estimate: $80,000 - 120,000
Sale: Fine Books and Manuscripts, New York, 9 March
Enquiries: Darren Sutherland
+1 212 461 6531

Taking Stockholm

Bonhams' newly appointed representative in Sweden, Ingrid Bjäringer, is well known in Swedish art circles. With degrees from the University of Stockholm in both Art History and Business Administration, she combines a deep knowledge of art and proven commercial acumen. Ingrid said of her appointment, "I am delighted to be joining Bonhams. I look forward to bringing all my knowledge to bear in representing this famous international auction house in Sweden." Ingrid will be based in Stockholm, with a remit that takes in the whole country.

Enquiries: Ingrid Bjäringer
+46 (0) 709 799 007

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