New York — Bonhams auction of European Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture drew collectors undaunted by Hurricane Sandy. Strong offerings of works by old master and 19th-century artists found new homes.
Pierre Joseph Redouté's pencil and watercolour on vellum botanical illustrations shone with Liliaceae: Iris pseudocorus reaching $86,500 and Liliaceae: Iris florentina bringing $62,500. Redouté produced these pieces for inclusion in his eight-volume Les Liliacées under the patronage of Empress Josephine between 1802-1816; she purchased the original set that served as the model for engravings by Didot Jeune, Paris.
Overall views of Paris and Venice proved as popular as ever. An unusual pair of early 18th-century French paintings depicting expansive bird's-eye views of both the front and rear grounds of a grand estate brought $64,900. These compositions, typical of the period, were commissioned by landowners to display in their residences.
All 18th-century travellers to Venice would have been familiar with the view of the Molo; a painting of that subject by the artist known as the Master of the Langmatt Foundation Views raised $60,000. In fascinating detail, the artist depicts daily life of the bustling city under blue skies, creating a desirable souvenir of La Serenissima.
Eugenio Zampighi's idyllic genre painting, Musica in famiglia, which captures a family happily gathered to listen to the father's violin music, drew $68,000.
Among the other 19th-century highlights was Antonio Rossetti's intricately carved, white marble sculpture of Esmeralda and Djali of 1867. One of five examples of this subject by Rossetti known to exist, the piece rallied $60,000. In the piece, Rossetti captures Esmeralda, the main character in Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and her faithful goat Djali happily dancing in the streets of Paris.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com