Issue 57, Winter 2018

Editor's Letter: Lucinda Bredin

"In September, Bonhams staff gathered to say farewell to Robert Brooks, who had, as Chairman, transformed the auction house from three salerooms – Knightsbridge, Lots Road... and Honiton – to a global operation with thriving salerooms in New Bond Street, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Sydney. As Matthew Girling, the Global CEO, said, "It is the end of an era." It is also the ushering in of a new era, as the company welcomed our new Executive Chairman, Bruno Vinciguerra.

In this issue, Bruno reveals that he has been struck by how the passion for connoisseurship and working with clients underlies everything at Bonhams. As he says, "For everyone here, it's much more than a job – it's their way of life!" And, indeed, what a privilege it is to be surrounded by extraordinary works, the enthralling stories of how they were created – and the extraordinary people who have owned them. In this issue, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tim Page writes about his friend, the pianist Glenn Gould, whose annotated score of the Goldberg Variations is offered in New York in December. Just looking at Gould's score, with its angst-ridden criss-cross of lines, one can sense the electricity of his definitive recording.

Another unique creation that's coming up for auction is Henry Moore's alabaster Mask. As Claire Wrathall writes in her story about the work, Moore was plunged into depression until he found his creative voice by looking past Renaissance sculpture and connecting to Pre-Columbian art. The mask is stylised and yet, at the same time, full of humanity. Just as Moore's story allows one to see behind the mask, there are some astonishing drawings offered in December that reveal the workings of another creative mind. These are the sketchbooks of John Mollo, the great British costume designer, who was contacted by George Lucas to conjure up a universe for the young director's low-budget film, Star Wars. (Mollo was bang on the money when he described it as a "sort of space western, and one of the heroes is a dustbin".) Turn to page 34 to read Matthew Sweet's account of how Darth Vader came to life.

Enjoy the issue."

Lucinda Bredin

  1. The Ex-Peter Whitehead, John Bekaert, Bill de Selincourt,1959 Lister-Jaguar "Knobbly" 3.8-Litre Sports-Racing Two-Seater  Chassis no. BHL 103

    Page 3

    Jaguar's A-Listers

    Brian Lister's motor cars dominated the racing scene. Richard Holt salutes a pair of Lister's idiosyncratic machines

    Lister has a history of making fast cars even faster. It has been back in the news lately, as deliveries begin of its new bespoke version of Jaguar's F-Type SVR – a very quick car which is now exceptionally fast – as ...

  2. Henry Moore O.M., C.H. (British, 1898-1986) Mask 19.2 cm. (7 1/2 in.) high (Carved in 1929)

    Page 6

    Behind the mask

    Henry Moore almost cracked after being surrounded by Renaissance statues in Italy. It was only when he discovered Mayan art, says Claire Wrathall, that the sculptor found his true material

    Ugliness is in the eye of the beholder. When in 1931 the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg became the first institution to acquire work by Henry Moore ...

  3. BRITISH ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION Sledge used on the British Antarctic Expedition 1907–09 ('Nimrod Expedition'), retained by explorer Eric Marshall, approximately 3360mm. (11 ft.) long; together with framed presentation plaque, stating "The Sledge, hanging above, was one of those used on the Expedition, & was presented to the School by Dr. Eric Marshall" (2)

    Page 9

    Sled astray

    Shackleton's expeditions won him a reputation for valor. But, in truth, bungles with boats, motors, ponies and dogs led them to within an inch of disaster, says Rosie Boycott. At least they had sledges...

    About 30 years ago, I boarded an overnight flight from New York to London, with one book in my bag: Roland Huntford's biography of ...

  4. Antonio da Ros Momento vase, 1977 cm 26 h

    Page 12

    Heart of glass

    Murano has been the crucible of glass-making innovations for centuries. Emma Crichton-Miller welcomes some 20th-century masterpieces

    The exquisite quality of Murano glass is well known, yet there is a shyness about many of the greatest Venetian glass workshops. The source of this reticence lies deep in their history. From its earliest times, Venice and the islands of the lagoon were ...

  5. Page 15

    Final note

    Glenn Gould's first interpretation of Bach's Goldberg Variations sold millions – but he hated his performance. Years later, the pianist went back to the score, now offered at Bonhams. Tim Page examines this musical Holy Grail

    Glenn Gould emerged from Canada in 1955, a fresh young genius from the North, brimming over with energy, ideas and intelligence. By the ...

  6. Howard Terpning (born 1927) Coffee Coolers Meet the Hostiles 32 x 52in (Painted in 1982.)

    Page 19

    Go West

    Thirty years ago, Rich Hall – a southerner – bought a ranch in Montana.He's been thinking about the West, and what it means, ever since

    Like most modern residents of the West, I am a transplant, drawn there by its elusive, romantic past. I arrived in 1988 in a town called Livingston, Montana. I didn't know a soul. I ...

  7. no image

    Page 20

    Golden pavilions

    Matthew Wilcox on the private museums waking up Tokyo's art scene

    The gaudy temple of the Golden Pavilion was built in 1397 and has always sat oddly with the cliché of Japan as an altar to minimalism – the Japan of monks, gravel gardens, unglazed stone ware and tatami flooring.

    Perhaps the country's sobriety is that of a lush ...

  8. Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope: John Mollo's personal sketchbook Notes & Sketches 1, a custom bound volume containing important and detailed working sketches and costume designs for many of the characters from the film Star Wars, together with production diary entries, meeting notes, time-lines and costume descriptions, the majority in black ink, some with colour; additionally the volume contains working for numerous military uniform designs for books, commercials and additional projects Mollo worked on during this time frame, Lucasfilm / Twentieth Century Fox, April 1975 - July 1976,

    Page 22

    Out of this world

    It is hard to imagine, but Star Wars was seen as a minor release in 1977. Matthew Sweet looks at the genius of John Mollo whose costumes helped create a universe

    In the summer of 1977, 20th Century Fox thought it had a hit on its hands. A project with a largely unknown cast, but with sufficient buzz to justify ...

  9. A magnificent diamond ring

    Page 26

    Diamond mine

    Everybody wants to own a diamond – so what is the secret of the stone's enduring allure? Nicholas Foulkes has a few suggestions

    We live at the cutting edge of the sharpest blade of technological development. Our lives are enmeshed with technology that until a generation ago belonged between the covers of science-fiction novels. So sophisticated have we become, that ...

  10. Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) Los Desastres de la Guerra (Disasters of War) the complete set of eighty etchings with burnished aquatint, drypoint and engraving, 1810-20, on heavy, absorbent wove paper, with watermarks J.G.O and a Palmette, fine, early impressions, from Harris' First Edition Ia, before corrections to the titles of plates 9, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 39 and 47, printed in the workshop of Laurenciano Potenciano, published by the Real Academia de Nobles Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1863, all the full sheets but one plate reduced slightly at the right sheet edge, otherwise in very good condition, bound as issued in eight groups of ten impressions with pale pink paper covers numbered in stencil on the front 1 to 8, with the title page and introductory text in the first bound folder, all folders in good conditionPlates 162 x 232mm. (6 5/8 x 9 1/4in.); Sheets 248 x 345mm. (9 7/8 x 13 1/2in.) 80

    Page 29

    Spanish inquisition

    War, starvation, torture – Goya turned his terrible era into visceral, visionary art, writes Jonathan Jones

    In 1812, the Duke of Wellington posed in Madrid for a portrait by Spain's most eminent artist. Wellington had recently led a British army into the city, driving the hated regime of Napoleon's brother, Joseph Bonaparte, out of the capital. Over the next ...


    Page 34

    It's a little bit funny...

    Almost no one thought 'Your Song' was a hit – least of all its creators. Philip Norman tells the story of Elton and Bernie's greatest song

    It was the wistful, innocent four-minute ballad that changed everything for its struggling singer and his lyricist. 'Your Song' dates from 1970, when Elton John and Bernie Taupin were penniless and living with Elton ...

  12. Page 37

    Inside Bonhams
    The future is now

    As Bruno Vinciguerra takes the reins as Executive Chairman of Bonhams, he talks to Lucinda Bredin about his passion for the world of auctions

    The auction business is full of unexpected excitement – as Bruno Vinciguerra knows well. The Impressionist and Modern Sale had been progressing in an encouraging fashion. But the big test was Lot 18 – Léonard Foujita's La ...

  13. 1924 Vauxhall 30/98hp OE Velox Tourer

    Page 39

    Fit for a Maharajah

    Only the very best motor car would do for the exacting ruler of Jammu and Kashmir explains Mark Beech

    In 1924, one of India's most powerful rulers was in the market for a new car. The wealthy Hari Singh, Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, always demanded the best. With money apparently no obstacle, he could choose from any of ...

  14. Le Pin 2015, Pomerol (1 double-magnum)

    Page 41

    Lust for life

    Le Pin is regarded as the courtesan of the wine world. Lucinda Bredin is seduced.

    Some Bordeaux châteaux really are castles. Château Pape Clément, for example, with its turreted tower, could withstand a medievalstyle siege. However, the sole structure for the domaine of Le Pin, one of the most celebrated Pomerols, is architecturally more low-key. Named after a single pine ...

  15. Page 52

    My favorite room
    Zhang Tielin

    A modest retreat in the Forbidden City enchants Zhang Tielin

    My favorite room is a tiny little space, but it is very well known. Tucked behind the walls of Beijing's Forbidden City, it is known as the Hall of the Three Rarities, so-called because it housed the Qianlong Emperor's favorite pieces of calligraphy. Despite its grandiloquent name, the ...

  16. 1928 Bentley 6 1/2 Liter Saloon  Chassis no. BR2353 Engine no. BR2351

    Page 60

    Wings of desire

    The winged B has always signaled an exemplary motor car. The 6½-Liter is no exception, explains Poppy McKenzie Smith

    Next year heralds 100 years of Bentley, a company that has not simply been manufacturing for a century, but continually producing some of the most luxurious, powerful and successful motor cars in the world. Bentley motor cars exemplify style and performance ...

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