Constable flood picture resurfaces
One of John Constable’s (1776- 1837) only early Suffolk paintings to remain in private hands will go under the hammer at Sotheby’s. The recently rediscovered landscape, Dedham Vale with the River Stour in Flood from the grounds of Old Hall, East Bergholt was completed between 1814-17.
The oil, measuring 20in x 3ft (51 x 91.5cm), is one of a series in similar size and style that Constable completed during this period that depict the countryside of his boyhood years. It is estimated at £2m-3m at the Old Masters Evening sale on December 6.
The painting was long believed to be the work of Constable’s contemporary Ramsay Richard Reinagle (1775-1862).
However, Julian Gascoigne, senior specialist at Sotheby’s, said “recent scientific analysis and up-to-date connoisseurship has unanimously returned the work to its rightful place among the canon of the great master’s work”.
Now thought to have been commissioned by Thomas Fitzhugh for his bride-to-be, Philadelphia Godfrey, the work is a view from the garden of her parents’ home. It may have served as a memento of Philadelphia’s childhood in her married home in London.
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Vassegh launches art consultancy
Nazy Vassegh has returned to art advisory and launched her business Nazy Vassegh Art Consultancy.
Her first corporate client is art recruitment agency Sophie Macpherson, where she will be acting as a strategic adviser.
Vassegh was previously chief executive of art fair Masterpiece London, which she left at the end of last year. She worked at Sotheby’s for 19 years before Masterpiece and was an independent art consultant from 2009-13.
Wristwatch sales boost in Salisbury
Adrian Hailwood, former director at Fellows responsible for watches, has joined Woolley & Wallis as wristwatch specialist in the firm’s jewellery department.
Sales of wristwatches will continue to form part of Woolley & Wallis’ quarterly jewellery auctions, managed by a department led by Marielle Whiting. However, the firm says it hopes to mount stand-alone wristwatch sales in the future.
Hailwood will now be working three days a week remotely from Worcestershire, as well as at the auctioneer’s Salisbury and London offices.
Hailwood joined W&W after six years at Fellows, latterly as a director. In 2013 he was appointed watch business manager at Fellows and promoted to director in 2014.
London dealer offers JFK documents
One of the largest collections of original John F Kennedy documents remaining in private hands is being offered for sale by a London book dealer.
The archive was put together by David Powers – Kennedy’s close friend and adviser who has been described as his personal ‘fixer’. He was riding in the car behind the president when Kennedy was shot in Dallas in November 1963.
The collection includes drafts for some of Kennedy’s important speeches, many of which contain revisions and corrections in his hand. It spans JFK’s political career up to the presidency, beginning with speeches from his first primary race in 1946 to the eve of his nomination as president, in the summer of 1960.
The group also contains arguably one of the best copies of JFK’s inauguration speech. This example was one of fewer than 100 copies which were privately printed by the White House and is inscribed For Dave from John Kennedy Christmas, 1961.
The archive has now been acquired by London dealership Peter Harrington who is offering it as a single collection with a £375,000 price-tag.
Gainsborough plan backed by auction
Works by artists Antony Gormley and Maggi Hambling were among 130 lots auctioned to raise more than £100,000 to create a national centre for the artist Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88) in Sudbury.
James Grinter and Jonathan Benson of auction house Reeman Dansie ran the auction at Sudbury Town Hall. Grinter said: “We had a packed room on the night with over 200 people present, as well as over 150 online bidders.”
Gainsborough’s House now has £6.5m towards the £7.7m project.
Book of Hours sale
SJ Phillips has asked us to point out that the Book of Hours being sold to the Louvre Museum was bought by the late Martin Norton, who previously ran the dealership, not owned by him (ATG No 2315). It is owned by SJ Phillips.
Sotheby’s reported a net loss of $23.5m for the third quarter of 2017. This period is traditionally the firm’s smallest revenue-generating quarter and is almost always loss-making.
The figure compares to a net loss of $54.5m for the equivalent period last year. Most of this improvement was due to the scheduling of the latest Hong Kong auctions, some of which occurred in the third quarter rather than the fourth in 2017.