Bonhams Magazine

Issue 55, Summer 2018

Page 59

Ghana party

On the occasion of the 2018 CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting), Bonhams held a celebration of modern and contemporary Ghanaian art at the Knightsbridge saleroom. Hosted in partnership with international law firm Hogan Lovells, the UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce, and art writer Nana Oforiatta Ayim, the event was an opportunity to view work by some of Ghana's most important artists, including El Anatsui and Ibrahim Mahama. Among the guests were Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, First Lady of Ghana, His Excellency Iain Walker, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Touria El Glaoui, the founder of 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair and R.Yofi Grant, the CEO of GIPC.

A great haul

It doesn't get much grander than the Painted Hall in Greenwich – where peerless Wren architecture combines with James Thornhill's gravity-defying ceiling painting that extols the Protestant Succession. And there are few more magnificent sights than the great room laid out for a banquet. Fifty-three of the splendid candelabra that lit such occasions from 1939 are to be offered at the Knightsbridge Home & Interiors sale in July. Commissioned when the hall became the Royal Naval College's dining room, each is engraved with George VI's monogram – he was then Admiral of the Fleet. Built in 1692 to provide accommodation for retired sailors, the complex of buildings is now under the stewardship of the Greenwich Foundation.

Enquiries: Miles Harrison
+44 (0) 20 7393 3974

The car's the star

There can be few cars of the silver screen more recognisable – or, indeed, desirable – than a James Bond Aston Martin. This glorious 1965 Aston Martin DB5 was used in the smash hit GoldenEye, driven in the film by Pierce Brosnan, the fifth actor to assume the career-defining role. The Aston Martin took part in one of the most thrilling car chases of cinema history, in which Bond's DB5 races through the hills above Monaco against the Ferrari F355 belonging to arch villainess Xena Onotopp (Famke Janssen). After filming, the car – extensively restored to remove any traces of its stunt-car past – was used widely to promote the film. Until recently, it was on display at the Bond in Motion exhibition at the London Film Museum in Covent Garden.

Enquiries: Sholto Gilbertson
+44 (0) 20 7468 8809

Self-Portrait of a lady

It is Gwendolen Fairfax who says, in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, "I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train." This option was not, perhaps, open to the Russian artist Zinaida Serebriakova, who chose to chart the events of her life in paint rather than words. Her Self-Portrait with Brushes, which is offered in the Russian Art sale at New Bond Street in June, was one of the many self-portraits she painted to record her moods and changing appearance over the course of her life. The work was executed in Paris in 1945, immediately after World War II. Personally and professionally, it was a bleak period, but, characteristically, Serebriakova portrays herself with a wry smile.

Enquiries: Daria Khristova
+44 (0) 20 7468 8338

It's never too late

Monday 18 June is the second of the new series of Bonhams Lates – evening receptions for the collectors of tomorrow. The February launch attracted 250 people to Bonhams Knightsbridge. This June, New Bond Street will host an event – in partnership with the exclusive Mark's Club. There will be Sipsmith Gin cocktails and, of course, fabulous art on display, as well as previews of the Fine Watches sale. Entry is free, but definitely
RSVP only.


Making hay

Among the most popular of Tate Britain's many masterpieces is a pair of oil paintings, Reapers and Haymakers. Painted in the early 1780s by George Stubbs, when the artist was seeking to broaden his appeal, they are, in fact, just two of a set of four paintings he made on a similar theme. Only one of them is in private hands, and it is now offered at the Old Master Paintings sale in New Bond Street in July. In Harvesting, from 1785, Stubbs demonstrates his lyrical realism, capturing the skill, of labourers loading hay onto a cart. To this work scene, he added two young girls gleaning the leftover corn – a telling illustration of the artist's empathy
for the rural working class.

Enquiries: Andrew McKenzie
+44 (0) 20 7468 8261

Nice timing

In early September, the chiming, whirring and ticking of more than 100 rare clocks will fill the salerooms at Bonhams New Bond Street in
what will be one of the most important horological exhibitions ever mounted outside a museum. It will trace the story of the English clock during the second half of the 17th century – the Golden Age of clockmaking – with masterpieces on display by the greatest makers, among them Thomas Tompion, Edward East and the Fromanteel and Knibb families. Focused on the development of the pendulum – the crucial breakthrough of the period – the exhibition will follow its dramatic effect on the accuracy of timekeeping, while simultaneously exploring the social history of the clock as a luxury item. This ground-breaking exhibition, which runs from 3 to 14 September, has been made possible
by the generosity of two private collectors, and is supported by loans from public institutions.

Enquiries: James Stratton
+ 44 (0) 20 7468 8364

Surprise prize

The contest for the Sarah Siddons Award is the pivot on which turns Joseph L Mankiewicz's classic 1950 film All About Eve. The fictitious award – a statuette of the famous English actress – is the ultimate symbol of Broadway success, but trails jealousy and deceit in its wake. Bette Davis starred as Margo Channing, an ageing actress attempting to fend off a challenge for top spot from Ann Baxter's Eve Harrington. Davis kept the film's statuette for years, before giving it to film critic Robert Osborne. It is now offered in TCM Presents... a Celebration of Robert Osborne sale at Bonhams New York, along with film posters and other pieces of memorabilia.

Enquiries: Catherine Williamson
+1 323 436 5442

Revolutionary art

Ludwig van Beethoven and Kazimir Malevich worked a century apart, but shared an urge to turn convention on its head. Beethoven's 'Emperor' Concerto (his Piano Concerto No.5 in Eb major) opened with a solo piano rather than the whole orchestra – not the first time the composer had taken his audience by surprise. And when Malevich exhibited his Black Square at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow in 1915, he set the spark of another artistic revolution. Work by both men is offered by Bonhams in June. For Beethoven, handwritten musical sketches for the Emperor's 2nd and 3rd movements will be at New York's Fine Books & Manuscripts sale, while important Malevich correspondence with fellow artists and writers on life, love and art heads the Fine Books sale in London.


New York: Ian Ehling +1 212 644 9094

London: Matthew Haley +44 (0) 20 7393 3817

Art lovers

An exhibition this summer at the RWA, Bristol's first art gallery, will explore the fascinating story of artist couples in the 20th century. Sponsored by Bonhams West Country HQ in Bath, In Relation presents the work of nine famous British artistic pairs and invites visitors to ask: were they lovers or teachers, muses or rivals?
Laura and Harold Knight, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, and Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson are among the couples included in a wide-ranging and innovative look at how artists in intimate relationships inspire and influence each other. The exhibition
runs from 16 June to 9 September, and complimentary tickets
are available to readers of Bonhams Magazine.

Enquiries: Emma Sykes
+ 44 (0) 1225 788982


In August, New Bond Street welcomes back the Friends of
the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) for an exhibition that
brings together artworks by European and Arctic artists spanning
200 years. Oil paintings by 19th-century European explorers will sit alongside contemporary prints by Inuit artists and the fruits of the latest Friends of SPRI Artist-in-Residence programme, sponsored
by Bonhams. Painter Nick Romeril travelled more than 3,500 miles on the Royal Navy's patrol ship HMS Protector, which brought him
up close to some colossal icebergs. His remarkable paintings and drawings of the trip will be on show in London for the first time.
The exhibition runs from 30 July to 17 August.

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