Europe


International photo fans hail a Scouse Giza

07 February 2002

FRANCE: FRANCIS FRITH (1822-98) was the focus of attention of Beaussant-Lefèvre’s sale of 19th century photographs at Drouot on January 25, as expert Pierre-Marc Richard claimed a world record auction price of €23,000 (£14,400), almost double-estimate, for a Francis Frith photograph: an 1858 view of The Pyramids of El-Geezeh from the south-west (pictured).

Francly, my dear, we don’t give a damn!

07 February 2002

French take the Euro in their stride. Will the Brits be left behind? The euro, all Fr6.56 of it, appears to be making a smooth entry into French salerooms.

Gazette ad made high ransom for Hostage

31 January 2002

BELGIUM (£1=BFr63): Antwerp's Campo Vlaamse Kaai enjoyed a pleasant pre-Christmas surprise at their two-day sale on December 11/12 when A Hostage, a large work by Edmund Blair Leighton (1853-1922) measuring 3ft 8in by 4ft 10in (1.12 x 1.48m), featuring a girl leaning on a wall, gazing wistfully out to sea, raced to BFr3.1m (£49,200) against an inexplicably low estimate of BFr8000-12,000.

Endless appeal of Infinite Life

31 January 2002

A large, gilt-copper altar statue of Amitayus, the Buddha of Infinite Life, on a lotus flower base, right, 3ft 2in (96cm) tall and hailing from Inner Mongolia/Dolonnor or China (c.1700), proved the main attraction at Nagel’s Asian Art sale in Stuttgart on November 10, selling for DM420,000 (£134,000).

Sunny Beuys…

31 January 2002

GERMANY: Joseph Beuys’ Sonnenkreuz (1947-48), a patinated bronze sculpture 15 x 81/4in (37 x 21cm), evoking a crucifix against a radiating sun, sold comfortably over estimate for DM200,000 (£64,000) at the Lempertz Contemporary Art sale in Cologne on December 5.

Danish prototype hits £48k

30 January 2002

GERMANY: TYPEWRITERS may not be renowned for their beauty but there was undeniable aesthetic charm, as well as historic significance, to the 1867 Malling Hansen Writing Ball that set a new world record price for an historical typewriter with a double-estimate DM150,000 (£48,000) for Auction Team Köln in Cologne on December 1.

On white horses, let me fly away…

29 January 2002

IT CANNOT often be said of an auction catalogue that its lot numbers will be used for a very long time, perhaps a century or more, as reference numbers in a standard academic publication. The catalogue of Numismatik Lanz of Munich is just such a one.

Sironi sets record as Italian buyers rally to Futurist past

23 January 2002

“Fascism, charged with Idealistic values, is applauded by all of those who are legitimately able to call themselves Italian poets, novelists and painters. We are sure that in Mussolini we have the Man who will know how to value correctly the force of our Art dominating the world.”

Horse and boy image that changes history of photography

23 January 2002

SOTHEBY’S have given the autograph documentation and picture, right, a hefty estimate of €500,000-750,000 for a very good reason: the picture is now thought to be the earliest image made by photographic means.

£7m sales round off a bonne année

23 January 2002

PARIS: A prestige series of auctions held by Tajan at the Hôtel George V just before Christmas (December 17-19) yielded just under £7m hammer.

A jug with a past but no spout

23 January 2002

SPAIN: The real star of the Sala Retiro (16% buyer’s premium) main sale of the season, held on December 12 and 13 was a piece of silver, specifically a large, 153/4in (40cm) high silver lidded jug made in Spain in the first third of the 17th century.

Magic fountains, Picasso’s pottery and wetting the Dauphin’s head – Sèvres-style

23 January 2002

FRANCE: A gilded and bleu céleste Louis XVI Sèvres cup and saucer, right, 51/2in (14cm) tall and known as the Gobelet Dauphin, sold over estimate for Fr260,000 (£24,800) at Piasa in Paris on December 7.

Chaumet’s three steps to heavenly victory

23 January 2002

PARIS: This extraordinary 2ft 3in (69cm) showpiece entitled Christus Vincit, made by Joseph Chaumet for the 1900 Exposition Universelle, sold for Fr2.8m (£267,000) at Calmels-Chambre-Cohen on December 10.

Music scores with the museums, but Dreyfus and Zola hit the high notes

23 January 2002

PARIS: The Piasa letters and manuscripts sale on December 17 brought Fr7.25m (£690,000) hammer with just 1 per cent bought in, and no fewer than 18 pre-emptions for the Bibliothèque Nationale, Comédie Française, Assemblée Nationale, Musée Victor-Hugo, and the towns of Avignon, Grenoble and Besançon.

Two takeover bids launched for the Drouot

21 January 2002

FRANCE: Just weeks after Sotheby’s and Christie’s first sales in Paris, the Hôtel Drouot is the target of two takeover bids, from Barclays Private Equity, an investment fund, and Pierre Bergé, longtime president of the Yves St-Laurent fashion house and a former chairman of the Paris Opera.

Old Masters

16 January 2002

The Tower of Babel was a popular subject with Flemish artists, and with the Louvain-born Lucas van Valkenborch (c.1530-97) in particular. He painted at least four versions, to be found in Munich, Mainz, the Louvre, and in the Beaussant-Lefèvre saleroom at Drouot on December 14, when an oil on panel Tower dated 1587, 28 x 35in (71 x 90cm), spiralled six times over estimate to Fr8.2m (£781,000), establishing an auction record for the artist.

Artcurial Briest sale

16 January 2002

PARIS: American buyers were to the forefront at the ArtCurial-Briest sales on December 17 and 18, held in the stylish Hôtel Dassault halfway down the Champs-Elysées, and preceded by an elegantly hung four-day viewing.

Photographs

16 January 2002

PARIS: An ensemble of nine photographs by Gustave Le Gray, all albumen paper prints from collodion or paper negatives from the collection of chemist Paul-Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran (who discovered the metal gallium), surfaced at Millon & Associés on December 3.

Resurfaced Rembrandt set to be star of Maastricht at $40m

15 January 2002

BOUND to be a highlight at TEFAF Maastricht in March is Rembrandt’s painting of the goddess Minerva which will be offered by New York dealer Otto Naumann for $40m.

Date clash leads to Mars bar

15 January 2002

SWITZERLAND: The Salon de Mars scheduled for April 6 to 14 at Palexpo, Geneva has been cancelled since it clashes with the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie at the same venue.

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