1. Chiswick’s silver skillet
This mid-17th century unmarked silver skillet is thought to have been converted to a single-handled porringer in America, where it was a popular item during the 18th century. Chiswick Auctions’ silver and objects of vertu sale in west London on October 23 will include the piece, which has passed by descent from a family in New England. Although catalogued as “probably English circa 1650”, the auction house notes that its apparent lack of hallmarks may indicate it is all of American manufacture. The 2in (5.8cm) high piece, scratch engraved to the side with initials ‘I E’ between a fleur de lis, is guided at £300-5002.
2. Christie’s AI portrait
This Portrait of Edmond de Belamy is the first painting created solely by artificial intelligence that will be offered at a major auction. It is one of 11 unique works in a series called ‘La Famille de Belamy’ conceived by the Paris-based AI collective Obvious. The work measures 23.5in (60cm) square and is printed on canvas. Known as a ‘Generative Adversarial Network’ print, Christie’s described it as “not the product of a human mind”.
It was created by an algorithm composed of two parts. The first part (the ‘generator’) was fed a data set of 15,000 portraits from Old Masters to Modern paintings and created new images based on this input. The second part (the ‘discriminator’) reviewed all outputs until it deemed the result imperceptible as to whether it was done from a human hand or not. It will be offered at Christie’s Prints & Multiples auction in New York on October 23-25 with a $7000-10,000 estimate.
3. Dawson’s Edward Seago
This watercolour by Edward Seago (1910-74) is going under the hammer at Dawson’s Auctions in Maidenhead on October 27. 'Winning Penants’ is dated to c.1970 and depicts a scene of fluttering flags and boats in a harbour. The signed 22 x 15in (56 x 38cm) work has an old label for London’s Marlborough Gallery and is guided at £3000-5000.
4. Lehr’s Gauguin bronze self-portrait
This bronze self-portrait by Paul Gauguin was cast, presumably in an edition of four, after a plaster model that the artist executed in 1894-95, not long after he had returned from his first visit to Tahiti. The plaster model was exhibited in the Paris Salon d’Automne of 1906. Nothing is known, however, about the identity or whereabouts of the foundry responsible for the casts. This bronze relief was first exhibited in a Berlin gallery and a museum in Basel in 1928. It belonged to the famous art dealer Alfred Flechtheim, whose gallery was forced into liquidation by the Nazis. Flechtheim was able to leave Germany and eventually settled in London where he died in 1937. His premises were taken over by Alex Vömel, who sold the bronze portrait to a German collector whose descendants consigned it for sale. The auctioneer brokered an agreement between the consignor and the descendants of Alfred Flechtheim, so that there are no legal hurdles to the sale, which is expected to bring at least €30,000 for the 14 x 14in (36 x 35cm) bronze at the October 27 sale at Lehr in Berlin.
5. Anderson & Garland’s Regency writing table
This Regency rosewood and parcel gilt writing table comes from Alnwick Castle. Estimated at £3000-4000, it is one of the highlights from The Duke and Duchess of Northumberland’s Attic Sale which will be held in the Guest Hall of the house by auction firm Anderson & Garland on October 27. Alnwick Castle has been a venue for filming Harry Potter, Transformers, The Virgin Queen and Downton Abbey. The Duke and Duchess of Northumberland are selling items from this home as well as Syon House (the duke’s official London residence). Items will also be available from Stanwick Hall, Albury Park and other ducal properties. The second-largest inhabited castle in England after Windsor, Alnwick Castle has been owned by the Percy family for over 700 years.