Around the globe

Bonhams Magazine

Issue 55, Summer 2018

Page 70

Andrew Currie highlights a selection of Bonhams sales worldwide

Los Angeles
Cradle to the brave

The Plains Indians have long gripped the imagination of the world. Cheyenne, Blackfoot, Comanche – these names conjure up the wide open spaces and nomadic tribal life which have come to represent Native Americans in literature, art and, of course, on the screen. The Bonhams Native American Art sale in Los Angeles in June features a strong selection of Plains Indians art and artefacts. An evocative Blackfoot beaded war shirt, for example, and a Cheyenne cradle board show how great artistry was combined with form and function to create objects of rare beauty.

Image (above): Blackfoot beaded war shirt
Estimate: $25,000 - 35,000
Image (left): Cheyenne beaded cradle board (42in in length)
Estimate: $40,000 - 60,000
Sale: Native American Art, Los Angeles, 4 June
Enquiries: Ingmars Lindbergs
+1 415 503 3393

New York
Glass act

When the Venetian architect, teacher and artist Carlo Scarpa made his first visit to the Land of the Rising Sun, he saw at once how
the two great cultures of Italy and Japan spoke to each other – a conversation that is reflected in his ingenious glass works. One of his Battuto Vases is offered at the Modern Decorative Art & Design sale in New York. It is from a group of important works that includes an untitled piece by his compatriot, the Italian-American artist, sound-art sculptor and modern furniture designer Harry Bertoia.

Image: Battuto Vase by Carlo Scarpa
Estimate: $30,000 - 50,000
Sale: Modern Decorative Art & Design,
New York, 6 June
Enquiries: Benjamin Walker +1 212 710 1306

Proving his medal

British war leader Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery – 'Monty' – was not always the easiest of men to deal with, especially for his fellow senior officers. He certainly did not suffer fools gladly. So it says something about the special qualities of Jack Burford, his driver from the Battle of El Alamein until the end of the war, whose medals are to be offered at the Medals sale in London in June. Also included are photographs of Burford with Churchill and with George VI, as well as a portrait photograph of Monty with a handwritten dedication that speaks volumes about the bond between the two men. "Who has marched with me from Alamein across France to Tunisia, over to Sicily, halfway up Italy and from Normandy to the Baltic – and who never failed to do his duty."

Image: Second World War medals
awarded to Driver J Burford, RASC
Estimate: £4,000 - 6,000
Sale: Medals, Bonds, Banknotes and Coins, Knightsbridge, 13 June
Enquiries: John Millensted
+44 (0) 20 7393 3914

Hong Kong
Vessel state

This extraordinarily rare jade cong from the Neolithic Liangzhu Culture (3300-2500 BC) is not only exceptional in its craftsmanship, but also remarkably well-preserved, with a lustrous patina formed over 4,000 years. The Liangzhu Culture sprang up in the Yangtze River Delta, where jade cong vessels were found in tombs. They must have been of great significance, since they would have been extremely difficult and time-consuming to produce. This example, offered at the Fine Chinese Works of Art sale in Hong Kong in May, is carved with great attention to the face pattern, which refers to the spirits or deities of this distinctive Chinese culture.

Image: An extraordinarily rare jade cong Estimate: HK$3,000,000 - 4,000,000
Sale: Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art
Hong Kong, 29 May
Enquiries: Xibo Wang +852 3607 0010

Florida key

April Matteini's passion for the decorative arts has propelled her from European museums to Miami showrooms. Originally from the Boston area, Matteini has worked in Florida for the past 13 years, where she has built up an extensive network. Following the establishment of her own jewellery-valuation firm, Matteini was responsible for the successful establishment of a Florida office for a major American auction house. Commenting on her appointment, Matteini said, "I am thrilled to bring new and existing Bonhams clients in Florida a high level of customer service, while connecting them to the global sales and specialists network."

Enquiries: April Matteini

Culture clash

Not many of us have had a ringside seat to history, but Mark Jay, whose personal punk rock collection – comprising 60 lots – comes to the Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia sale in Knightsbridge in July, can claim just that. As a 14-year-old schoolboy, he founded the short-lived but influential punk fanzine, Skum. It only lasted seven issues, but Mark bagged the first-ever interviews with Sid Vicious, before Sid found immortality with the Sex Pistols, and a pre-Pogues Shane MacGowan. Among the star items are the artwork for Skum issue no.1, and the hand-painted, stencilled and studded shirt worn by Joe Strummer of the Clash when the band was interviewed by Janet Street-Porter in November 1976 for the first UK TV broadcast about punk.

Image: Joe Strummer's shirt, worn for the
first TV broadcast about punk rock
Estimate: £8,000 - 10,000
Sale: Entertainment Memorabilia,
Knightsbridge, 18 July
Enquiries: Claire Tole-Moir, +44 (0) 20 7393 3984

New York
Old Yeller

This rare artefact is a fine example of the automaton clocks produced in Germany in the first half of the 17th century. Through the 1800s, clockmakers grappled with problems in which the solution involved increasingly elaborate gearing mechanisms. A happy side-effect of this cerebral work was that it made possible the addition of amusing automated figures to clocks. Mythical figures, exotic animals and even, in the case of the clock offered at Bonhams Watch and Clock sale in New York in June, a vigilant hound with rolling eyes and a wagging tail were created. This example is particularly unusual in having a tail that is automated, not just the eyes.

Image: A quarter-striking alarm clock with automaton of a hound, south German, early 17th century
Estimate: $20,000 - 30,000
Sale: Fine Watches, Wristwatches and Clocks,
New York, 6 June
Enquiries: Jonathan Snellenburg +1 212 461 6530

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