Issue 39, Summer 2014

Editor's Letter:

Hard on the heels of the opening of the acclaimed New Bond Street headquarters, Bonhams has made another giant leap forward. This month, the company unveiled its first dedicated saleroom in Hong Kong. Designed by award-winning architects, Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, it is state-of-the-art in every way. Set on the 20th floor of One Pacific Place – the centre of Hong Kong's art world – Bonhams now has a gallery and auction room that has changed the game in the region. Museum quality lighting? Yes. Online bidding facilities? Most certainly. There is also the expertise of Bonhams Asian department, which leads the field. Next stop: the New York salerooms, which will have a far-reaching redesign next year.

While this excitement is happening in the east, Bonhams Magazine has set off for a bracing summer beside the sea. Five of the major pieces coming up for auction and featured in this issue have a maritime theme – two of them, an oil by Eugène Boudin and a series of technical drawings for the D-Day invasion of 1944 – are very different views of the Normandy beaches. However, all the works
have one thing in common: they reflect the power of the sea.

In July's Old Master Sale, there's a painting by the 18th century marine artist, John Cleveley, depicting the arrival at Harwich of Princess Charlotte, who was to marry George III. The choppy sea has been stirred up by a stiff southwesterly wind, says our contributor, the former First Sea Lord, Admiral Lord West. He is one of Britain's most celebrated naval commanders, and knows his rigging and flags – the detail is fascinating – but he also gives an enthralling account of the background, and significance, of this historic event.

Cleveley's work, which was turned into a print, fulfilled the same role as a newspaper photograph, by documenting an occasion. John Constable's stormy beach scene at Brighton is equally revelatory, but instead of charting a public event, it provides a glimpse into the tumult of his heart. Together with the story of one of the chronometers taken on Darwin's voyage of the Beagle – written by the naturalist's great-great grandson, Simon Keynes – we have extended the nautical theme by featuring the harbour city of Copenhagen. René Redzepi, the chef of Noma, just voted the world's number 1 restaurant, gives Bonhams an exclusive on where to eat in his home city – that is, after you've been to his gaff.

Enjoy the issue.

Lucinda Bredin

  1. Page 1

    René Redzepi's guide to where to eat in Copenhagen

    René Redzepi's Noma, in Copenhagen, has just been voted the world's No.1 restaurant. Every month, 20,000 people try to make a reservation. For those who aren't lucky, René has ideas for where else to eat

    Ah, Copenhagen. Where to start? I walk the streets everyday, I know every nook and every cranny. I've seen ...

  2. Page 3

    That fatal shore

    Allied commanders feared that the biggest invasion in history, the D-Day landings in Normandy in June 1944, might end in disaster. There was, writes Max Hastings, no guarantee that Operation Overlord would vanquish the German army

    It is tempting to look back upon D-Day and imagine that the invaders' triumph was inevitable. The Allies had overwhelming superiority in air and ...

  3. Page 7

    My favourite room
    Terry Jones

    Terry Jones relaxes with his dog in his local pub, the Prince of Wales, a regular meeting-place for his Monty Python co-stars

    I first went to The Prince of Wales about 10 years ago and felt at home immediately. I had just moved to Highgate from Camberwell, where I had lived for a long time, and the change was dramatic ...

  4. John Constable R.A. (Suffolk 1776-1837 Hampstead) A Sea Beach - Brighton

    Page 8

    Stormy weather

    At first, Constable hated Brighton. Forced to go there for his ailing wife's health, he painted tempests that reflected the tumult in his life, says Martin Gayford

    John Constable's first impressions of Brighton were not positive. He described the resort to his friend John Fisher in August 1824, in an outpouring of comically exaggerated disgust. "Brighton", he began ...

  5. Eugène Boudin (French, 1824-1898) Trouville, scène de plage

    Page 12

    Sea change

    Going to the beach was a ritual for the newly mobile bourgeoisie. And Boudin's paintings coolly observe it, writes Jonathan Jones

    Eugène Boudin's 1885 painting Trouville, scène de plage takes us to the heart of a revolution. Its radicalism can be discerned in raw, fast brushwork that leaves everything just barely touched into existence, so that faces are ...

  6. John Cleveley (British, circa 1712-1777) The Royal Yacht Royal Caroline off Harwich, September 1761

    Page 16

    Naval engagement

    John Cleveley's magnificent painting records the start of the long and happy marriage of King George III and Queen Charlotte. Admiral Lord West decodes its signals

    Why is this masterpiece not in the Royal Collection?" was my first thought when I saw John Cleveley's The Royal Yacht Royal Caroline Off Harwich, September 1761 for the first time. It ...

  7. Page 27

    Great leap forward

    Wang Wei has created one of the largest private collections of art in China. She tells Lucinda Bredin why she needs not just one museum but two

    There are five days to go before the Long Museum opens in West Bund, Shanghai. At 33,000 square metres, this will be China's largest private art museum and ... I'm worried ...

  8. Lynn Chadwick (British, 1914-2003) Two Reclining Figures 191.8 cm. (75 1/2 in.) long

    Page 30

    Hip to be square

    Lynn Chadwick's figure groups interact with each other, and with you, says Michael Bird. Pose, posture and proximity tell their stories

    Two Reclining Figures, which Lynn Chadwick completed in 1972, was his first life-size sculpture in three years. He was in the middle of a long hiatus between London exhibitions. There had been one at Marlborough Fine Art in ...

  9. Page 31

    Making the list

    Bonhams New Bond Street will open a restaurant this autumn with a remarkable wine list. Matthew Wilcox watches Richard Harvey select it

    "I am not having any pinot grigio on my list," says Richard Harvey, Bonhams Head of Wine. It's ten o'clock in the morning and we are deep inside Bonhams New Bond Street headquarters, in what will ...

  10. Page 57

    Pushing the boundaries

    Bonhams now has a dedicated auction saleroom in Hong Kong. And, says Giovanna Dunmall, it's quite a show

    Only months after opening the elegant £30m revamp of its headquarters in New Bond Street, London, Bonhams now has a sleek, hi-tech saleroom in central Hong Kong. This is the company's first dedicated saleroom in Hong Kong and it ends ...

  11. Page 60

    Outside the box

    Charles Darwin shipped aboard the Beagle as its naturalist, and his discoveries changed the way we understand the world. But, writes Simon Keynes, the Beagle had another scientific mission – to establish longitude

    HMS Beagle, under the command of Captain Robert FitzRoy, set sail from Plymouth in December 1831. The voyage took her into the South Atlantic, around South America, across ...

  12. A very rare pair of Höchst figures of Pantaloone and Pantalone from the Italian Comedy, circa 1752

    Page 70

    Fragile legacy

    When the great collector Emma Budge died in Germany in 1937, her inheritors received nothing from the sale of her treasures – they were commandeered by the Nazis. Robert Bevan tells the story of what happened next

    Among the grandest of the grand villas along Hamburg's luxurious Harvestehuder Weg was that owned by Emma Budge (pronounced Budker) and her husband ...

  13. Page 78

    Inside Bonhams
    Africa rising

    Giles Peppiatt, Director of African Art, has taken his department from unexplored territory to international success. He tells Lucinda Bredin why Bonhams is leading the market

    The word 'iconic' is banned from Bonhams Magazine – except when discussing Russian religious works. But occasionally the word does come in handy: in this case to describe Vladimir Tretchikoff's Chinese Girl (aka the ...

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