It will also be a busy summer across Continental Europe as salerooms seek to take advantage of strong demand – particularly online. With Covid-19 restrictions inevitably varying in scope across Europe – and ever-changing – it is also worth remembering to check individual auction house websites for latest sale updates.
Get your teeth into crocodile feet day bed
On June 30 Sotheby’s Paris holds a sale of furniture, paintings and works of art that were chosen by Sheikh Hamad Bin Abdullah Al Thani to decorate his residence in Doha.
Among the furniture is this distinctive Regency period painted and carved wooden day bed from c.1815 (pictured top). It is shaped in the form of a gondola and decorated in the neo-Egyptian taste favoured after the archaeological discoveries of this time with features such as a shell motif and feet formed as crocodile legs.
Sit like an Egyptian
One of the highlights at the July 6 auction at Im Kinsky in Vienna is an ancient Egyptian statue of a seated man from the so-called Ramesside Period, which lasted from 1295-1069 BC and takes its name from Pharaoh Ramses I.
This type of figure, which was often used as a funerary memorial to a respected person, was known as a block statue. It was popular in Egypt from the second pre- Christian millennium onwards and depicts a man with his arms crossed and his knees drawn up to his chest.
The 16in (41cm) high seated figure in Vienna is carved in granodiorite. It has not been on the market in more than a lifetime; since 1900 it has been part of a Viennese private collection. The catalogue price is €50,000-100,000.
The otherwise visible feet have been chipped off. In another type of this statue, the body, including the feet, was enveloped in a cloak, which provided the sculptor with more free surfaces for symbols and inscriptions.
Unusual Toulouse-Lautrec hospital subject
One of the highlights of the Impressionist and Modern sales on June 29 will be this painting by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901).
Une opération par le Docteur Péan à l’Hôpital International was painted in 1891 and given in that year to the artist’s doctor Frédéric Baumgarten (who appears facing us at the back of the composition) in recognition of his work. It has been in the hands of the same family ever since.
The work is also unusual for its subject matter. While Toulouse-Lautrec is well known for his depictions of Parisian cabarets, brothels and horses, only two other hospital scenes are known in his oeuvre.
They are a portrait of Docteur Péan, a renowned surgeon, in Une opération de trachéotomie of 1891, today in the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, US, and Examen à la faculté de médecin de Paris, 1901, which is in the Musée Toulouse-Lautrec in Albi.
The painting on offer at Artcurial is executed à l’essence (oil thinned with turpentine) on card and measures 22½ x 19in (57.5 x 48cm).
Fouquet Art Deco necklace
A highlight of the online jewellery sale at Christie’s Paris from June 21-July 5 will be this Art Deco necklace made by Jean Fouquet.
The avant-garde sculptural design, with its strong geometric shapes, is an example of the modernist jewellery influenced by the UAM (Union des Artistes Modernes) of which the Fouquet family was a member.
It was made c.1925, the year when Fouquet received a prize at the seminal Exposition des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels, the exhibition which put Art Deco on the map.
The signed necklace is made from white gold, silver and black lacquer and set with a large aquamarine weighing between 85 and 90ct.
It comes in a case by Georges Fouquet and has an estimate of €350,000-450,000.
Goblet of the ‘fruit children’
On July 3, Dr Fischer in Heilbronn is holding its end-of-season glass auction. Among the early pieces is this goblet from the first third of the 18th century, the decoration of which is characteristic for the German city of Potsdam, not far from Berlin.
The procession of six putti around the goblet, each bearing a wreath of fruit, was often described as Kinderbacchuszug or children’s bacchanal and the putti themselves were called Fruchtkinder (fruit children).
The exact origins of the theme have not been discovered, although Michelangelo is known to have drawn a children’s bacchanal in the 1530s. From the 1720s onwards, it was engraved on glass by renowned craftsmen such as Martin Winter and his nephew Gottfried Spiller.
The auction house has not made an attribution to a specific artist. In their day, such glasses were expensive, costing 60 Thaler apiece, twice the price of a goblet decorated with a hunting scene and a view of Potsdam. The estimate today is €1800-2200.
Tolstoy’s homemade shirt comes up for sale in Paris
The Modern Art and Russian Art sale to be held by Coutau-Begarie & Associés on July 9 at Drouot in Paris will include a personal memento of Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910): the celebrated Russian author’s linen shirt.
The hand-sewn shirt is of the form worn traditionally by Russian peasants but was in this instance designed and made by Tolstoy’s wife Sofia, who produced many of the clothes for her husband and children on her English Wheeler and Wilson sewing machine. Two small pockets inside the shirt were intended to hold Tolstoy’s small notebook and pencil.
The shirt was inherited by Tolstoy’s 10th child, Count Mikhail Lvovich Tolstoy (1879-1944), and was then passed down by direct descent. According to the information transmitted by the writer’s descendants, it is most probably in this shirt that he died on November 20, 1910. The estimate is €20,000-30,000.
The auction also includes around 100 lots that come from the collection of Prince Felix Yusupov (1887-1967) and his wife Princess Irina (1895- 1970) from the Parisian residence on the rue Pierre Guérin where they lived in exile for 25 years.
On offer will be paintings, furniture, documents and personal items including this early 20th century Russian School oil on canvas portrait of Prince Yusupov (above). Signed with the initials MC and its original silver wooden frame, the painting was probably executed during the prince’s trip to the US from between 1923-25 and hung in his bedroom. It is guided at €30,000-50,000.
Elaborate rickshaw carries considerable interest
The Asian art sale to be held at Drouot in Paris by Ader on June 29 will include this elaborately decorated rickshaw from the late 19th century.
It was made either in Japan or Indochina and decorated in Indochina, measures 8ft 6in (2.6m) in length and has a leather hood, padded and embroidered silk interior, wooden floor and wooden iron-rimmed wheels.
The exterior design involves a variety of Asian motifs including a dragon, phoenix and Taoist symbols to the sides and a large shou sign to the back along with dragons, scrolls, leaves and tassels.
This rickshaw had its origins in Japan in the second half of the 19th century where Daisuke Akiba, from a family of horse equipment dealers, was the first to manufacture attractive versions adapted to a new affluent clientele from 1870-71.
His company also exported rickshaws to Singapore, India, China and the British and French colonies from the mid-1870s.
The example on offer at Ader has extended protection for its traveller from the black leather coverings. It may have been a special commission.
The rickshaw has a provenance to an unnamed customs official who was stationed in Indochina between the two wars and has been in the same family ever since.
Pechstein village view
For almost 25 years, the German Expressionist painter Hermann Max Pechstein (1881-1955), who was based in Berlin, spent the summer months in the small Pomeranian seaside resort of Leba.
His first stay on the coast of the Baltic Sea was in 1921 and that is also the date on a 19 x 22in (47 x 57cm) watercolour Dorfstrasse in Leba (Village Street in Leba) that is coming up for sale at Scheublein in Munich on July 2. It was one of many watercolours Pechstein created of the town, some of the harbour, many of the town streets, all of which are popular with collectors.
His connection to Leba lasted throughout the war; as a ‘degenerate’ artist he had been considered unsuitable for the military (he was, however, conscripted into labour service in Pomerania).
At the end of the war, he was by chance in Leba, where he witnessed the arrival of Russian soldiers. They imprisoned him for some time before he was released. Pechstein subsequently returned to Berlin, where he lived and worked until his death in 1955.
The watercolour in the Munich sale, from the legacy of a local collector, has been authenticated by the artist’s grandson. It is expected to bring €12,000.
Tribal art in the countryside
The 5th edition of the Bourgogne Tribal Art Show takes place in rural southern Burgundy from June 24-27.
Some 19 dealers will be setting out their stands on the private estate of Contemporary art dealer Bruno Mory which is located at Besanceuil, just a few kilometres from Cluny, offering a relaxed convivial atmosphere in which to view and buy art and also sample locally produced wines.
The majority of the dealers at the show are tribal art specialists, with some familiar names in the field such as Anthony Meyer, Laurent Dodier, Adrian Schlag, Julien Flak and Guilhem Montagut, but it has broadened its scope and Asian art and Antiquities specialists also feature.
Very special spoon
Among the pieces that Paris dealer Anthony Meyer of Galerie Meyer Oceanic Art is taking to the show is a 14½in (37cm) long horn potlatch (feast) ladle or spoon from the Haida or Tlingit peoples of British Columbia.
The spoon, which dates from the second half of the 19th century, is carved to the handle with a bear wearing a conical chief’s hat and to the back in low relief with the body of a bear over a larger effigy of a fish.
Special accoutrements for feasts like this ladle, of high calibre both in quality and size, were made at the request of a chief or high-ranking individual and were kept and passed down over generations rather than being given away at the potlatch as a display of disregard for wealth.
It is priced at €35,000.