Auctions | December 7, 2020

Legendary Artist’s Book, Jazz by Henri Matisse, at Bonhams London

Courtesy of Bonhams

Henri Matisse (1869-1954) Jazz, Tériade, Paris, 1947 the set of 20 pochoirs in colours, 1947. Estimate: £240,000-300,000

London — This month, Bonhams hosts two Prints & Multiples sales – one in Knightsbridge on Wednesday 9 December, and one in New Bond Street on Tuesday 15 December. Leading the New Bond Street sale will be the legendary artist’s book, Jazz by Henri Matisse, which has an estimate of £240,000-300,000.

In 1941, when Henri Matisse was near bedridden with intestinal cancer, he started creating a body of work which appeared to capture movement on a page. His ground-breaking artist’s book, Jazz, – containing 20 pochoirs of his signature bold, expressive, and vibrant cut-outs, alongside poetic text – marked a crucial transition into a new medium for the artist and left a trail of colour across the blank space. Published in 1947 and limited to 250 copies, Jazz was an unprecedented success.

Lucia Tro Santafe, Department Director of Bonhams Prints & Multiples, New Bond Street, said: “We’re very excited to be able to offer one of Matisse’s greatest masterpieces, the illustrated book Jazz in our forthcoming sale. Originally entitled Cirque, the improvised themes and compositional variations prompted the publisher Tériade to suggest Jazz as an alternative title, and the creation captures the experimental, playful and musical nature of some of Matisse’s most popular works.”

Other highlights of the New Bond Street Prints & Multiples sale include: 

  • An Important Collection of prints by C.R.W Nevinson including his most iconic War subjects; Banking 4,000 Feet. Estimate £15,000-20,000
  • Banksy (born 1975), Girl with Balloon. Estimate: £120,000 - 180,000.
  • Roy Lichtenstein, (1923-1997), Nude Reading, from Nude Series. Estimate: £60,000 - 80,000.
  • Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Tarasque. Estimate: £55,000 - 75,000.

Prints & Multiples, New Bond Street, 15 December:
Link to catalogue:

At Bonhams Knightsbridge on 9 December, a selection of over 130 works by the leading 18th century caricaturist James Gillray will be offered at the Prints & Multiples sale – Part II, all from The Arthur N. Gilbert Collection of Important Prints by James Gillray (1756-1815). The historically important etchings, which span the last three decades of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, capture Gillray's outstanding body of political and social satire.

Speaking of his collection, Arthur N. Gilbert commented: “As an historian, I appreciated the acerbic wit and wickedness James Gillray unabashedly displayed… The use of comedy as the foe of pomposity is a never-ending antidote to those around us who are so filled with their own self-importance that they forget, after all, we are all human. James Gillray’s work never ceases to amuse me.”

Bonhams Prints Department Director at Knightsbridge, Carolin von Massenbach, said: “James Gillray is the father of political cartoon and this large collection represents an outstanding body of work that has been exceptionally well-preserved. Satire continues to be a source of relief from the world. It is particularly timely that we are able to offer this important collection in our next sale alongside iconic Banksy works continuing this legacy today.”

As with the Prints & Multiples sale in New Bond Street, the Prints & Multiples sale in Knightsbridge will also offer a fantastic selection of works by Banksy. The sale also includes a strong Modern British section by artists such as Howard Hodgkin and an extensive variety of contemporary works by leading artists such as Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, Harland Miller and David Hockney. Highlights include:

  • Banksy (born 1975), Pulp Fiction. Estimate: £30,000 - 50,000.
  • Banksy (born 1975), Jack and Jill. Estimate: £25,000 - 35,000.
  • Banksy (born 1975), Happy Chopper. Estimate: £25,000 - 35,000.
  • David Hockney (British, born 1937), Pool Made with Paper and Blue Ink for Book. Estimate: £15,000 - 20,000.
  • Sir Howard Hodgkin (British, 1932-2017) Acquainted with the Night. Estimate: £6,000 - 8,000.

Prints & Multiples, Knightsbridge, 9 December:
Link to catalogue: