399845v_0001.jpgNew York, NY, February 15, 2017 — The Morgan Library & Museum announced today the acquisition of three major drawings by David Hockney, Martin Puryear, and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. Each is a valuable addition to a drawings collection at the Morgan that is considered one of the greatest in the world.

“We are delighted to announce the acquisition of these outstanding works,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the museum. “The Hockney is a superb and iconic example of his precise, delicate style of the 1960s and depicts one of his muses, fabric designer Celia Birtwell. The Martin Puryear comes on the heels of the successful exhibition of his drawings we held in 2015, while the Corot is characteristic of the artist’s best portrait drawings of the 1830s. We are deeply grateful to the donors whose generous support made these acquisitions possible."

David Hockney (British, b. 1937) Celia, Paris, 1969, pen and ink on paper. The Morgan Library & Museum. Purchased as the gift of the Katherine J. Rayner Fund of the Anne Cox Chambers Foundation

One of the most popular British artists of the twentieth century, David Hockney has been a versatile and prolific painter since the 1960s. It is his talent as a draughtsman, however, that is at the core of his reputation, especially the drawings from life that he began making in the late 1960s. Celia, Paris is a superb example of such a drawing. Frequently reproduced in the literature on Hockney, it is particularly important on two counts: first, as an early and very refined example of the precise, delicate line drawing—indebted to Ingres and Picasso— that Hockney developed in the late 1960s, notably in portraits of friends and family; and second, as a portrait of Celia Birtwell, a British fabric designer who was Hockney’s most constant muse from 1968 on. (Celia and her husband, fashion designer Ossie Clark, are the subject of one of Hockney’s most famous paintings, Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy of 1970-71, in the Tate’s collection). Hockney depicted Celia in many colored pencil drawings in the early1970s. The present drawing, in which Celia’s relaxed pose conveys the intimacy between artist and sitter, is one of his earliest of her. 

Martin Puryear (American, b. 1941), Drawing for Untitled, 1990, black Conté crayon, with smudging, on ivory paper. The Morgan Library & Museum, Purchased with funds provided by Agnes Gund, The Ronald & Jo Carole Lauder Foundation, and Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin M. Rosen. 

American sculptor Martin Puryear is known for the elegance and refinement of his abstract, hand-made constructions, primarily in wood.  Drawing has always been essential to his practice, as the exhibition, Martin Puryear: Multiple Dimensions, shown at the Morgan in 2015, demonstrated. Drawing for Untitled—which was included in the exhibition—depicts a classic image in Martin Puryear’s repertoire, harking back to the heads he drew while in Sierra Leone in the 1960s and anticipating sculptures such as VesselFace Down, and the Getty’s That Profile of the late 1990s and 2000s. The sense of touch suggested by the blurry contours, smudges, and fingerprints on the sheet, conjures up Puryear’s hands-on approach to his sculpture as well as his prints and drawings. This  is the first work by Martin Puryear to enter the Morgan, where it joins many drawings by sculptors from the Renaissance to the present.  

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (French, 1796-1875), Seated Camaldolese Monk, 1834, graphite on paper. The Morgan Library & Museum. Gift of Jill Newhouse.                                                   

This finely observed, precisely rendered study of a seated monk in profile is characteristic of Corot’s best portrait drawings of the 1830s, and most probably dates from Corot’s second trip to Italy.  This was a relatively short, six-month trip in which the artist focused on picturesque sites, views and figures that would serve him in composing Salon paintings, and included Corot’s only visit to Tuscany and Florence.  The sitter’s white habit, leather belt (as opposed to a cord) and long beard confirm the inscription which identifies him as a member of the Camaldolese branch of the Benedictines.  An ascetic order founded by San Romualdo in 1046, their name derives from their 11th century hermitage in the Camaldoli mountains, located in the Casentino valley in Tuscany.  The setting of the hilltop convent and the magnificent views surrounding it would have been attractive to Corot, who may have spent the night there, as the hermitage offered free lodging to male visitors during this period. 

Image: Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (French, 1796-1875), Seated Camaldolese Monk, 1834, graphite on paper. The Morgan Library & Museum. Gift of Jill Newhouse.         

A diverse range of fine art and antiques was featured at Worth Auctions' February 12, 2017 sale in Freeville, New York. A cadre of devoted collectors were undeterred by a lake effect snowstorm, and further enthusiastic bidding activity took place on three online bidding platforms: Invaluable, LiveAuctioners, and eBay.

Among the fine art offerings were numerous natural history plates by John James Audubon and John Gould, signed lithographs by twentieth-century black-and-white masters Stow Wengenroth and John McClellan, and plein air paintings by William R. Davis. A quintet of canvases by the versatile painter George Rhoads exceeded their high estimates, with one sunset image bringing $2,000 and setting an auction record for the artist. A suite of complete issues of the deluxe French periodical "Derriere le Miroir" fetched $4,000.

In the antiques department, a pleasing group of artifacts collected along the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea brought $1,100; a collection of vintage dolls sold for $1,900.00; and a set of Capodimonte porcelain figurines realized $2,000. A handsomely restored Ithaca Calendar Clock fetched $875. An Austrian gold and opal bracelet sold for $900.00.

The cataloging staff at Worth Auctions is already busy preparing for its March sales, which will showcase rare and desirable Civil War firearms and edged weapons, fine and costume jewelry, modern and contemporary art, and more.

For more information about bidding or consigning, contact evan@worthauctions.com.

[2] copy.jpgNEW YORK —Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s 1835-1837 notebook containing drafts for every poem featured in her first significant collection of poetry The Seraphim and Other Poems (1838) leads Bonhams’ Fine Books & Manuscripts sale (10:30 am on March 9). Revealing her journey from Romantic poet to Progressive political voice, the notebook is estimated at $400,000-600,000.

Barrett Browning was a prominent English poet of the Victorian era whose liberal stances on slavery and child labor resonated with readers throughout Britain and the United States.

This significant collection of drafts includes extensive additions, deletions, and emendations, reflecting her search and discovery of the incipient strength of her developing voice. Often referring to the Greek tragedies, this first collection of poems, speaks to her early Christian sentiments which she described as “not the deep persuasion of the mild Christian but the wild visions of an enthusiast.”

Born in Coxoe Hall, Durham, England in 1806, Barrett taught herself Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, while still a young girl, read Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, and later paired her love for the classics with activities at the Bible and Missionary Societies of her church. 

In her later works, Barrett reveals her long held political beliefs, speaking against slavery—her father owned a slave-run plantation in Jamaica—, child labor, and the paternal bidding to control women. Also up for auction, is an autographed manuscript and working draft of Poems Before Congress, estimated at $180,000-250,000. In the last and most controversial of Barrett Browning’s published works, seven of the poems discuss local politics and call for the independence of Italy, where she was a longtime resident. The eighth poem, "A Curse for a Nation," is an attack on American slavery, was largely seen as anti-British. A rarity in her time as an outspoken female political poet, Barrett Browning prefaces this collection: "What I have written has simply been written because I love truth and justice quand meme 'more than Plato' and Plato's country.”

Other highlights include:

  • An autographed manuscript and draft of her revised translation the Aeschylus play Prometheus Bound, which was included in her lauded 1850 book Poems, is estimated at $200,000-300,000.
  • An early autographed Barret Browning manuscript from early English poets, including Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spencer, John Fletcher, estimated at $40,000-60,000.

Bonhams’ Business Development Director of the Books & Manuscripts, Tom Lamb, said, “Rarely seen on the market, these Barrett Browning notebooks and manuscripts would be an excellent addition to any literary collection. Her layered edits and re-edits reveal nuances of her working methods and influences, and further illuminate her dexterity as a shining female voice of early 19th century Europe.”

Image: Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806-1861 autograph manuscript, a working draft of Poems Before Congress is estimated at $180,000-250,000

73-Gutenberg-leaf copy.jpgNew York— On Thursday, March 9, Swann Galleries will hold an auction of Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books, featuring a premier selection of early English material.

The top lot of the sale is a leaf from the Gutenberg Bible, Mainz, 1455, with the text of Ecclesiasticus 16:14-18:29, estimated at $40,000 to $60,000. Further doctrinal material includes the fourth edition of the first volume of Petrus Berchorius's Liber Bibliae moralis, Cologne, 1477, a thirteenth century encyclopedia of the Bible and the natural world ($10,000 to $15,000) and the first edition in English of Hans Holbein’s The Images of the Old Testament, 1549, featuring 94 woodcuts by the artist and valued at $10,000 to $15,000. A 1560 first edition of the Geneva Bible, the predominant bible in Elizabethan England, is expected to bring $10,000 to $15,000. The 1674 third edition of Baruch Spinoza’s Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, which includes the 1666 Philosophia S. Scripturae interpres by Spinoza’s friend and editor Lodewijk Meijer, a controversial work arguing for the philosophical interpretation of scripture, estimated at $2,000 to $3,000, also makes an appearance.

Early English books featured in this sale include Antonio de Guevara's manual of statecraft The Dial of Princes, 1568 ($3,000 to $5,000); the first English edition of Niccolò Machiavelli's The Florentine Historie, 1595 ($3,000 to $5,000); Michel de Montaigne's The Essayes, the precursor of the modern essay form, 1603 ($8,000 to $12,000); and Sir Philip Sidney's influential prose romance The Countess of Pembrokes Arcadia, 1598 ($3,000 to $5,000). Also available is the third edition of the English translation by Sir Thomas North of Plutarch’s The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romaines, London, 1603, from Jacques Amyot’s French version of the original Greek, as well as the first edition of Samuel Johnson’s 1755 Dictionary of the English Language, ($1,500 to $2,000 and $6,000 to $9,000, respectively).

From the travel section comes An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham, Emperour of China, 1673, written by Jan Nieuhoff et al and originally published as part of John Ogilby’s series of travel atlases ($4,000 to $6,000). Several tomes recount exploration into the Middle East, including the first edition of Jean de la Roque’s Voyage de l’Arabie Heureuse, 1716-22, with three engraved folding plates of coffee plants, valued at $1,500 to $2,500.

A thirteenth-century noted ferial psalter and hymnal in Latin, with Western and Low German Saints’ Days ($3,000 to $5,000) is one of several rare manuscripts in the sale. Also available is a collection of 15 prayers composed by Charles V of Spain with engraved illustrations of gospel scenes, written in Spanish in Brussels in 1676; this volume, in an embellished red cloth binding, is expected to fetch $3,000 to $5,000.

Further highlights include the Italian translation by Leonardo Cernoti of Claudius Ptolemaeus's Geografia, Venice, 1598-97, with notes by the astronomer Giovanni Antonio Magini. This edition includes a double-hemisphere world map after Rumold Mercator, as well as 63 half-page maps; it is valued between $3,000 and $5,000. The second edition of Christophorus Georgius de Honestis’s Expositio super Antidotario Mesue, printed in Bologna in 1488, is also present. This late fourteenth-century commentary is based on the Antidotarium ascribed to the Baghdad court physician Mesuë the Younger, a popular pharmacopeia based on Muslim knowledge ($3,000 to $5,000).

In addition to a first edition of Paradise Lost by John Milton, 1668 ($6,000 to $9,000), there is also an extensive selection of philosophical works by important figures of the Enlightenment, including René Descartes, John Evelyn, Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, John Locke and François-Marie Arouet de Voltaire.

In the medical section is an archive of letters from Harvey Cushing to the great-niece of Elisha Bartlett, regarding the collection of Bartlett material he assembled with her help, estimated at $5,000 to $10,000.  A sizable offering of seventeenth- to early twentieth-century works from the philosophy library of Professor Jan Ludwig features first editions by David Hume and Immanuel Kant, including Kant’s Critik der reinen Vernunft, printed in Riga in 1781 ($8,000 to $12,000).

The auction will be held Thursday, March 9, beginning at 10:30 a.m. The auction preview will be open to the public Saturday, March 4 from noon to 5 p.m.; Monday, March 6 through Wednesday, March 8, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

An illustrated auction catalogue is available for $35 from Swann Galleries, Inc., 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or online at www.swanngalleries.com.

For further information or to make advance arrangements to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Early Printed Books Specialist Tobias Abeloff at 212-254-4710, extension 18 or tabeloff@swanngalleries.com.

Image: Lot 73 Single leaf from a paper copy of the Gutenberg Bible, Mainz, 1455, in a copy of Newton's A Noble Fragment. Estimate $40,000 to $60,000.

Screen Shot 2017-02-13 at 8.38.25 AM.pngThe Van Gogh Museum is devoting itself this spring to Prints in Paris 1900: From Elite to the Street - a major exhibition of work from its own fin-de-siècle print collection, which is one of the finest of its kind in the world. Over 250 prints of the highest quality, including colourful works by Bonnard, Chéret, Steinlen and Toulouse-Lautrec will be on show, among them world-famous posters like Le Chat Noir and Le Moulin Rouge. The prints will be shown alongside paintings, historical photographs, furniture for collectors and decorative objects, and will take visitors on a sensual journey through the cosmopolitan life of the French fin-de-siècle (1890-1905). The exhibition has been designed by Maarten Spruyt.

The Van Gogh Museum manages one of the finest collections of fin-de-siècle printmaking in the world. As a centre of knowledge and expertise, the museum has been collecting prints intensively for sixteen years and has also carried out five years of in-depth research so that it can now present its print collection in magnificent fashion. Prints that, because of their sensitivity to light, are kept in storage and only displayed sporadically and on a small scale can now be seen in all their glory and in large numbers in the museum’s exhibition wing.

The most beautiful of all the graphic work produced by artists like Henri de Toulouse- Lautrec (1864-1901), Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen (1859-1923), Edgar Degas (1834-1917) and Jules Chéret (1836-1832) will be on show at the exhibition, which will feature the finest print series and the rarest impressions. Over 250 prints will be shown alongside paintings, historical photographs, furniture for collectors and decorative objects. There are little jewels like the dark lithographs of Odilon Redon (1840-1916), evoking nightmarish fantasies, and the still series of woodcuts by Félix Vallotton (1865-1925), showing musicians playing in shadowy interiors.

The overarching story of the world of printmaking in Paris - from elite (the private collector) to the street (the mass of the people) - has never previously been told in an exhibition. Prints in Paris 1900 takes visitors on a journey beginning with prints from fashionable art circles, which were kept and viewed in the intimacy of richly decorated interiors. They will see the imposing Bibliothèque - rarely loaned for exhibitions - designed by François-Rupert Carabin (1890, Musée d’Orsay), an exuberantly decorated bookcase several metres tall with carvings of nude women, in which costly books and prints were stored by a private collector.

We then enter an entirely different world - that of popular prints for the masses. Here we find the fleeting impressions of the visual spectacle of modern life in the public sphere, full of colour, light and pleasure. Artistic posters, sheet music and magazine illustrations with their bright colours, large letters and powerful silhouettes, vie for attention. The highlight is Steinlen’s poster The Street, which, with an area of no less than 7.5 m2, is a genuine ‘fresco for the masses’. The prints also tempt visitors into the magical world of Parisian nightlife.

We then see how the elite took public printmaking and pulled it back into their interiors, where posters were now also hung on the walls as decorations. The exhibition concludes by showing a variety of printing techniques, with the original lithography press of the printer Auguste Clot (1858-1936) as the main attraction. A selection of trial proofs and videos explains the techniques of etching, woodcuts and lithography.

Parisian fin-de-siècle

The fin-de-siècle (1890-1905) was the heyday of French printmaking. It was the time where avant-garde art blended with everyday life in cosmopolitan Paris. Artists no longer put their talent to work exclusively on the creation of ‘high’ art, but also threw themselves into what were considered ‘lower’ art forms, such as decorative designs, prints, posters and magazine illustrations, with the common theme of modern cosmopolitan life in Paris. Artists experimented intensively with different print techniques and decorated the whole of Paris with their provocative artworks.

Catalogue

The exhibition Prints in Paris 1900: From Elite to the Street is accompanied by a richly illustrated, large-format catalogue written by curator Fleur Roos Rosa de Carvalho and based on years of intensive research into the worlds of printmaking during the French fin-de-siècle: the closed circles of decadent print collectors, the sparkling poster art of the street and magazines on news-stands, and large prints as colourful decoration for the interiors of the beau monde. 194 pages, hardcover. Publisher: Mercatorfonds, Brussels. The book is available in Dutch, English, French and German editions, and will be distributed worldwide.

Prints in Paris 1900: From Elite to the Street

3 March - 11 June 2017

10 February 2017 - The Bodleian Libraries have launched an innovative web-based resource that brings together the complete works of British photographic pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot, available to the public at foxtalbot.bodleian.ox.ac.uk. For the first time ever, users can discover and search through annotated digitized images of Talbot’s photographs gathered from collections around the world. The fascinating images show the emergence and development of photography while capturing moments of early Victorian life.  

SirWalterScottsMonument-BL+-+300dpi copy.jpgThis comprehensive online Talbot Catalogue Raisonné is an important new resource for scholars, educators, curators, conservators, photographers and historians in many fields, as well as anyone interested in photography. Catalogues raisonné encompass the entire corpus of an artist’s work and while they are common in art history, nothing of this scale has been attempted for photography - it is a record of both the invention of an art and of the art of invention. 

William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877), among the greatest polymaths of the Victorian age, is regarded as the British ‘father of photography’. He created some of the first photographs ever made. He also recognised that negatives, with their ability to make multiple prints on paper, would define the central path of photography right through to the digital age. During his career Talbot and his collaborators created more than 4,500 unique or distinct images; approximately 25,000 of his original negatives and multiple prints from them are known to survive worldwide and are held across a range of international institutions and private collections. These are now brought together for the first time in one place - the Talbot Catalogue Raisonné. 

‘There has been nothing like this before in the history of photography,’ said Professor Larry J Schaaf, Project Director for the Talbot Catalogue Raisonné and Visiting Professor of Art at the University of Oxford. ‘This catalogue raisonné of Talbot's work will help unlock the enormous artistic, documentary and technical information embodied in these images and allow researchers to find out even more about these works.’ Working closely with the Talbot family, Schaaf has been researching Talbot for more than four decades and has examined nearly all of Talbot’s originals held in collections worldwide.  

Talbot was a scientist who then became an artist. Unlike the case with most of his peers, much of his archive survives; in addition to the 25,000 photographs there are more than 10,000 letters, hundreds of notebooks and many related physical objects. In the early 1980s, before digital projects in the humanities were common, Professor Schaaf developed the pioneering databases of Talbot's work on which the new online catalogue is based. 

The Bodleian Libraries have spent the last two years translating these images into a modern online form. The catalogue integrates the holdings of more than 100 international public and private collections including items from the British Library, the National Media Museum, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Smithsonian Institution, as well as smaller but significant holdings in Russia, Estonia, South Africa, Canada, France and others worldwide.

Launching with more than 1,000 images, these will be added to weekly until the entire 25,000 negatives and prints known worldwide have been published. They include: 

  • • Beautiful early cityscapes of Oxford, London and Paris and others, 
  • • Numerous images taken on and around the grounds of Lacock Abbey, Talbot’s family home in Wiltshire,  
  • • Some of Talbot’s best known images such as ‘The Open Door’ and ‘The Haystack’,
  • • Photographs by Talbot’s close circle of family and colleagues, with whom he collaborated - Nicolaas Henneman, Calvert R Jones, George Bridges and Henry Collen, along with Talbot’s wife Constance and his mother Lady Elisabeth Feilding.

In this new catalogue raisonné, images of prints and negatives are accompanied by notes, annotations and essays, with links to relevant publications and websites. Users can search images by photographer, title, collection, provenance, date, genre, geographic location and keywords then tag, save or compare images and create, annotate and store their own collections or search results, all free of charge. Since many of these primordial images survive in a faded state, they can be enhanced for study onscreen by simple tools that magnify the images and adjust the contrast and density. Negatives lacking a print will be accompanied by a digital positive. 

Importantly users can view surviving negatives alongside the prints that were made from them, making this the first online catalogue to make the connection between corresponding Talbot prints/images no matter where in the world the original print is held. This is critical since each negative and print was made by hand and each is unique. For example, users to the site can see an image of a negative held in the Smithsonian alongside salt prints made from it that are held in the J. Paul Getty Museum, the British Library and other private collections. 

The images are accompanied by extensive cross-referencing to other sources, such as Talbot’s notebooks held in the British Library and the 10,000 Talbot letters available online at foxtalbot.dmu.ac.uk, a project at De Montfort University also directed by Professor Schaaf. In 2014, the Bodleian acquired the personal archive of Talbot, which includes original manuscripts, correspondence, family diaries and scientific instruments. The archive is also rich in physical objects depicted in Talbot’s photographs, for example the actual glassware depicted in his famous ‘Articles of Glass’ published in The Pencil of Nature.

Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian said ‘The Talbot Catalogue Raisonné exemplifies the important role of the Bodleian Libraries and cultural institutions in creating digital resources that allow unprecedented virtual access to collections. This project also demonstrates the value of working in partnership, bringing together items now dispersed from across numerous collections. We are extremely grateful to the many institutions who contributed to this exciting new research tool, without whom this project would not have been possible.’

The Talbot Catalogue Raisonné has been developed with the support of the William Talbott Hillman Foundation, The Polonsky Foundation, the Charina Endowment Fund as well as numerous private donors.

Image: This photo of the Scott Monument, a monument to the Scottish author Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) and the largest monument to a writer in the world, was taken in mid-October 1844. Talbot travelled north to look for subjects for his second book of photography, Sun Pictures in Scotland. Talbot took several shots of the monument under construction. Salted paper print. Credit: The British Library. 

The Art & Antiques Fair Olympia is set to return to London this summer in what will be its historic 45th year.  The prestigious Fair, which offers more choice than any other top European fair, has prices ranging from £100 to hundreds of thousands of pounds.  An audience of art and antique enthusiasts from across the globe are anticipated to descend on Kensington Olympia in search of one of a kind, rare and beautiful pieces.

Opening with an exclusive Preview day on Monday 26 June and closing on Sunday 2 July, the Fair is the definitive place for home owners, interior designers and collectors looking for inspiration.  The Fair is expected to attract around 25,000 visitors with more than 55,000 pieces for sale.  Each object will be individually vetted by independent experts, providing peace of mind for any buyer - whether a first-time visitor or a regular returnee.

Known for its diverse offering, the Fair features over 120 dealers, some of whom exclusively choose Olympia to display their pieces for sale in a  seven day only equivalent of a ‘pop up shop’.  

From diamond rings to dining tables, from antiquity to the modern day, the Fair will have works of art to cater to all tastes.

As well as the large variety of dealers present, the Art & Antiques Fair Olympia will boast an impressive line-up of speakers giving insight into current trends, interiors, history as well as exhibitions taking place across Europe today. 

Mary Claire Boyd, Fair Director says: “Olympia in June is the place to buy that elusive piece that so many of us dream of owning; the essential destination for interiors pieces. The 45th edition of this flagship fair includes exhibitors who can only be seen at this UK show, while others save and restore their best pieces for this seven day, keenly anticipated event.

“There is also an opportunity to learn a tremendous amount from the combined knowledge of some of the world's leading experts in their fields who are always happy to share their expertise with interested visitors and via the free talks programme.”

After a successful opening year in 2016, SOFA London will be making a welcome return in the Fair.  A version of the critically acclaimed Chicago-based show, The Sculptural Objects Functional Art and Design Fair (SOFA), it is an area dedicated to celebrating contemporary three-dimensional art and design - sure to make a big impact.

Located in the elegant National Hall in London Olympia means that the Fair is extremely easy to get to and there will be a free shuttle bus during the Fair between London Olympia and Sloane Square. 

A Preview held on Monday 26 June, late openings, champagne bar and a specially created menu at Mosimann’s restaurant all combine to make the Fair a prestigious and must-attend event in London’s summer calendar.

Tickets are priced at £15 in advance and £20 on the door and £60 on Preview day*. 

The Art & Antiques Fair Olympia takes place at the Olympia National, London, W14 8UX. 

For more information and to purchase tickets please visit www.olympia-art-antiques.com.

isabeau-de-croix-boh-177v-178r copy.jpgLes Enluminures is celebrating its 24th year exhibiting at TEFAF Maastricht!

For this prestigious event, the leading specialists in medieval manuscripts will be presenting an array of important acquisitions. Notable highlights include a glittering unseen Book of Hours with 69 miniatures, an exceptional illuminated leaf by Sano di Pietro representing the Adoration of the Magi and a leaf from the illustrious Chester Beatty Hours.

Of the upmost importance, the Hours of Isabeau de Croix is one of the finest Books of Hours to have ever entered the Tefaf Maastricht fair. Dr. Sandra Hindman, CEO and President of Les Enluminures, claims “This is by far one of the best Books of Hours I have ever handled as a dealer, and it is certainly the most extensively illuminated with page after page of dazzling miniatures in perfect condition”. It is of exceptional size, in flawless condition, illustrated with nearly seventy large and astonishing pictures, by all three of the great-est artists working in Parisian the second quarter of the fifteenth century. Dr. Christopher de Hamel, Senior Vice-President, comments “It is only when one is familiar with routine Books of Hours that the supreme mas-terpieces stand out as being utterly exceptional. The Hours of Isabeau de Croix is one of those manuscripts which almost defies belief”.

Equally to be exhibited for the first time is a fine miniature by Sano di Pietro, one of the most influential and prolific artists in Siena in the middle of the fifteenth century. Thought to have been trained by Sassetta and to have been active in the workshop of the Master of the Osservanza, Sano inherited the gift for storytelling from his masters. His engaging narrative style was rich in decorative effects. Representing the scene of the Adoration of the Magi, his leaf is likely from the series of opulent choir books for the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala, Siena.

The third highlight comes in the form of a leaf from the Chester Beatty Hours, one of the most important manuscripts associated with the Boucicaut Master Group. Contemporary with the Limbourg Brothers, the Boucicaut Master and his workshop were active in Paris and worked for some of the greatest patrons of the age, including Jean, Duke of Berry. Les Enluminures will present a leaf depicting St John the Baptist, in remarkable condition and with distinguished provenance.

March 10th to 19th
Preview: Thursday March 9th STAND 276

Image: THE HOURS OF ISABEAU DE CROIX France, Paris, circa 1425-50. In Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on parchment. With sixty-nine large miniatures by the Master of the Harvard Han- nibal (active circa 1415-1430), the Master of the Munich Golden Legend (active circa 1420-1460), and the Dunois Master (active circa 1435-1450’s).

Screen Shot 2017-02-10 at 10.06.12 AM.pngHeartfelt personal letters from Jackie Kennedy to David Ormsby Gore (the 5th Lord Harlech), Britain's Ambassador in the USA during the Kennedy Presidency are to be sold at The Contents of Glyn Cywarch - the Property of Lord Harlech Sale at Bonhams in London on Wednesday 29 March on behalf of Jasset, 7th Lord Harlech. They reveal for the first time that Ormsby Gore proposed marriage to Jackie Kennedy, why she turned him down and why, shortly afterwards, she married Aristotle Onassis.

The letters form part of a cache of papers that have been locked away unseen in two despatch boxes at Glyn Cywarch, the Harlech family house, since Lord Harlech's death in 1985, including personal correspondence from President Kennedy and from British Prime Ministers, Harold Macmillan, Sir Alec Douglas-Home and Harold Wilson. The archive is estimated at £100,000-150,000.

Bonhams Head of Fine Books and Manuscripts in the UK, Matthew Haley said, "For decades, biographers have speculated on the precise relationship between Jackie Kennedy and David Ormsby Gore. These letters now show without doubt how close they came to marriage and why Jackie decided to marry Onassis instead. The correspondence has been sitting in two official red Government despatch boxes for more than 40 years. The keys were nowhere to be found and in the end we had to call a locksmith to slice through the locks. It was one of those astonishing moments when you can't quite believe what you're seeing."

The 18 handwritten and one typed letters from Jackie Kennedy to David Ormsby Gore, 5th Lord Harlech, cover her days as First Lady from the assassination of President Kennedy until her marriage to Onassis in October 1968. They show a warm and very close relationship which deepened during 1967 after the tragic death in a car accident of Lord Harlech's wife, Sissy, in May of that year. At the time, Jackie Kennedy wrote to him movingly, "Your last letter was such a cri de coeur of loneliness - I would do anything to take that anguish from you - You want to patch the wounds & match the loose pairs - but you can't because your life won't turn out that way."

During the following months, the two spent an increasing amount of time together, often on private holidays, and in February 1968 Harlech proposed marriage. Among the newly discovered documents is a draft of his wounded response to her rejection of the proposal.

"All the pathetic plans I had brought with me for visits to Cyrenaica, holidays near one another and a whole variety of solutions to our marriage problem, including one for a secret marriage this summer - plans which I saw us eagerly discussing, calmly and with complete frankness as we did at the Cape and in Cambodia for the next wonderful ten days - all had become irrelevant trash to be thrown away within a few hours of my landing in New York. As for your photograph I weep when I look at it. Why do such agonizing things have to happen? Where was the need for it? I have tried for hours and hours to understand your explanation and I suppose I do in a way, without agreeing with it; but what I find unbearable and in a way, dearest Jackie, untrue is that you could come to such a categorical conclusion..."

Her reply to him, is tender and soothing. "We have known so much & shared & lost so much together - Even if it isn't the way you wish now - I hope that bond of love and pain will never be cut... You are like my beloved beloved brother - and mentor - and the only original spirit I know - as you were to Jack."

In June of that year Robert Kennedy was assassinated while seeking the Democratic Party nomination for the Presidency. Harlech was one of the pall bearers at the funeral. Shortly after the suppression of the Prague Spring by Soviet Forces in August, Jackie wrote to Harlech lamenting the state of the world, "I thought your speech about Czechoslovakia so beautiful - it brought tears to my eyes - Reading it you cant believe that the same things are being said - or rather done - all over again - and that as before, it is England who is the bravest... Ones private despair is so trivial now - because wherever you look there is nothing to not despair over - I keep thinking of what Jack used to say - 'that every man can make a difference & that every man should try."

In the final letter written from Aristotle Onassis's yacht Christina, Jackie tries to explain why she had married the billionaire Greek shipping magnate, "You and I have shared so many lives and deaths and hopes and pain - we will share them forever and be forever bound together by them... If ever I can find some healing and some comfort - it has to be with someone who is not a part of all my world of past and pain - I can find that now - if the world will let us."

Jasset, Lord Harlech, the grandson of David Ormsby Gore, said "Though he sadly passed away before I was born, I knew even from an early age that my grandfather had been British Ambassador to the United States. There is much history that binds the Kennedys and the Ormsby Gores together. The more I read or was told about David by other relatives, the more I wanted to know. He seems to have been a most insightful and intelligent man. He had a career spanning military service, politics and diplomacy; he set up his own television station and was chairman of the British Board of Film Classification; all impressive in their own right, but I am told his greatest attributes were his thoughtfulness, charm, and sense of morality."

Political letters revealed for first time in the Ormsby Gore despatch box

The strong personal and family links between John Kennedy and David Ormsby Gore influenced the decision of British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan to appoint the latter, a non-career diplomat, as Ambassador to Washington in 1960. (Ormsby Gore assumed the title of Lord Harlech in 1964 on the death of his father, a year before he ceased to be ambassador). Robert Kennedy described Ormsby Gore as being "almost a part of the government", recalling that his brother the President "would rather have his judgment than that of almost anybody else... He'd rather have... his ideas, his suggestions and recommendations than even anybody in our own government." This became especially important during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

A handwritten letter from Kennedy to Ormsby Gore in the cache attests to this closeness. "...I appreciate as you know, in all these critical matters your judgment - which I have found to be uniformly good and true. The P.M was excellent this week - I do not like these stories which have as their object a disparagement of the real value of our alliance. I am sure Your government knows better"

Harold Macmillan had equal faith in Ormsby Gore's abilities, writing to him after his first year as Ambassador, ""I think your position is really something unique in the annals of the British Embassy in Washington and we are all really grateful for what you are doing".

Other letters in the archive include:

• a note from Prince Philip's uncle Lord Mountbatten promoting a film he wanted to be shown at the White House;

• a letter from Sir Alec Douglas-Home shortly after he succeeded MacMillan as Prime Minister in September 1963, "This is an unexpected responsibility, but I shall do my best. You know what a great help you are in Washington."

• and a note from the private secretary to UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson who came to power in 1964, passing on Wilson's request to prevent his notoriously erratic Foreign Secretary, George Brown, from meeting President Lyndon B. Johnson (who succeeded John Kennedy at US President in 1963).

Harvey Cammell, Deputy Chairman of Bonhams UK said, "Of all the many discoveries we have made in this wonderful collection, the Kennedy Harlech papers are surely the most remarkable.  I am expecting unprecedented interest in this unique auction, the contents of which has kept our team enthralled since our first visit to this incredibly beautiful and historic house.  It is, without doubt, one of the most fascinating private collections to come on the market in recent times."

David Ormsby Gore, 5th Baron Harlech

David Ormsby Gore was born in 1918. Educated at Eton and New College Oxford, he was elected to Parliament in 1950. He held a number of Government Ministerial positions in the Foreign Office, but resigned in 1961 in order to take up the post of British Ambassador to the United States. He became the 5th Lord Harlech on the death of his father in 1964. After his return to the UK in 1965, he had a successful career in television, founding the independent TV company, HTV. Lord Harlech died from injuries sustained in a car accident in 1985. Senator Edward Kennedy, Jacqueline Onassis and other Kennedy family members attended his funeral.

551-Chagall copy.jpgNew York—On Thursday, March 2, Swann Galleries will hold an auction of 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings, offering rare portfolios by masters of the last two centuries.

The sale is led by two vibrant lithograph sets, each with additional and complementary works. The publisher’s own set of the rare deluxe edition of Marc Chagall’s Arabian Nights, 1948, boasts an additional thirteenth lithograph showing the King and Scheherazade under the guardianship of a glowing bird; it is expected to sell between $250,000 and $350,000. Also available is the complete set of Édouard Vuillard’s 1899 Paysages et Intérieurs. Already scarce, this portfolio of 13 color lithographs is enhanced by additional impressions of two of the plates, bringing the total number of works to 15. The set in its entirety is estimated at $150,000 to $200,000.

There is an excellent selection of vibrant works by nineteenth-century masters led by Pierre Bonnard’s rare color lithograph, La Petite Blanchisseuse, 1896, and Mary Cassatt’s The Coiffure, circa 1891, a color drypoint and soft-ground etching ($50,000 to $80,000 and $40,000 to $60,000, respectively). A color lithograph by Pierre-Auguste Renoir titled Enfants Jouant à la Balle, circa 1900, is valued between $40,000 and $60,000. Also available is the fourth state of Edgar Degas’s lithograph, Femme nue debout à sa toilette, 1891-92, estimated at $50,000 to $80,000. The sale opens with 50 highlights from the collection of Eric Carlson, with works by masters including Eugène Delacroix, Paul Gauguin, Paul Signac and Félix Vallotton, as well as the complete set of Mélodies de Désiré Dihau, 1895, by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec ($30,000 to $50,000).

Of particular note is Egon Schiele’s first lithograph, the nude self-portrait Männlicher Akt (Selbstbildnis I), 1912, which is expected to fetch $20,000 to $30,000. Early twentieth century highlights continue with a charming pen and ink drawing by Paul Klee of bulls, titled Drama in der Kuhwelt, 1915, estimated at $25,000 to $35,000, and the rare woodcut Hafen Teufelsbrücke, 1911, by Kurt Schmidt-Rottluff, which has appeared at auction only three times in the last 30 years ($40,000 to $60,000).

A premiere selection of works by Pablo Picasso will be crossing the block: examples include the 1934 etching Femme torero, I, and the 1948 lithograph Femme au fauteuil, No. 1 ($50,000 to $80,000 and $40,000 to $60,000, respectively). These are joined by an original watercolor by Salvador Dalí titled Orologi Molli, 1960, previously in the Albaretto Collection in Turin and estimated at $70,000 to $100,000. Further highlights include the color aquatint La Permissionaire, 1974, by Joan Miró ($40,000 to $60,000), and one of 30 artist’s proofs of the deluxe portfolio with text of Le Corbusier’s Unité, 1953; there has been just one other complete set of 37 lithographs at auction in the last 30 years ($35,000 to $50,000). Also available are prints by Georges Braque, Giorgio de Chirico, René Magritte and Giorgio Morandi, bronze sculptures by Jean Arp, Brassaï, Dalí and Man Ray, and a wool tapestry designed by Henri Matisse titled Mimosa, 1951 ($7,000 to $10,000).

From the Americas comes a selection of early prints and artists’ proofs by James A.M. Whistler, led by the etching and drypoint Speke Hall: The Avenue, 1870-78, estimated at $50,000 to $80,000, as well as Evening Wind, 1921, an etching by Edward Hopper ($50,000 to $80,000). Martin Lewis’s 1932 aquatint Which Way? has appeared at auction only four times in the last 30 years; here it carries an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.

The auction will be held Thursday, March 2, beginning at 10:30 a.m. and continuing at 1:30 p.m. The auction preview will be open to the public Saturday, February 25 from noon to 5 p.m.; Monday, February 27 through Wednesday, March 1, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

An illustrated auction catalogue is available for $40 from Swann Galleries, Inc., 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or online at www.swanngalleries.com.

For further information and to make advance arrangements to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Todd Weyman at 212-254-4710, extension 32, or via e-mail at tweyman@swanngalleries.com.

Image: Lot 551 Marc Chagall, Four Tales from the Arabian Nights, portfolio with complete text and 13 color lithographs, 1948. Estimate $250,000 to $350,000.

Auction Guide