With some exceptional findings coming to table, we take a quick look at the most significant auctions of September 2015
By: LF Correspondent
Posted on: October 1, 2015
Auction houses have been busy with gavels banging, rare items coming to fore, and collectors investing in beauty ever more. With some particularly noteworthy auctions happening recently, we list out the updates in one place.
Combining art with philanthropy, Bonhams recently raised $60,000 for Nepalese charities - Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust and Save the Children. Top-quality Indian and Himalayan art was sold during its week of Asian art sales in New York on September 13-14. Notable among the top lots sold were the powerful 15th-century Tibetan sculpture of Gayadhara, achieving $209,000, as well as the dazzling 14th/15th-century Tibetan Buddha and prabhamandala, which brought $185,000.
Bonhams has always been strong with its jewelry arm. The rare British-owned Hope Spinel gemstone, with its incredible history to back it up, was sold for a record price of $30,000 per carat (as per the price on September 24, 2015) at Bonhams Fine Jewellery sale in London. The total? £962,500 (approx. $1,455,460). Intriguingly, this gem was bought by a private telephone bidder.
Other coloured gemstones, signed jewellery, antique jewels and diamonds also caught the interest of bidders at Bonhams London Fine Jewellery sale. The event achieved a total of £5.16 million.
The second top lot of the auction was another icon: an Art Deco enamel, gem-set and diamond 'Tutti Frutti' bracelet by Cartier. Made in New York in 1929, the bracelet, with a beautiful geometric strap and vine motifs, was sold for £458,500 to a telephone bidder. A circular natural pearl ring, set between baguette-cut diamonds shoulders, sold for four times its pre-sale estimate of £50,000 to £70,000, achieving £206,500.
Bonhams is expecting the strong market to be reflected during its next two Fine Jewellery sales in New York on October 13 and Hong Kong on November 30, 2015.
Achieving an astounding value, Christie’s recently auctioned Indian artist FN Souza’s Birth for a remarkable $4,085,000. This work by Mr Souza is also the world auction record for the category, meaning the most expensive work sold at any South Asian Art auction.
Mr Souza painted the masterpiece in 1955, and is particularly iconic since the painting comprises all the subjects to be found in his early practice: the pregnant outstretched nude with hairpins, the autobiographical man in priest’s tunic, a still life on the window ledge and beyond the window, a townscape with corniced buildings and tall steeples.
Sotheby’s London auctioned the unique Victory Watch, commissioned for Sir Winston Churchill, for a magnificent amount of £485,000 - eight times the low estimate. It is one of four individual watches created for the Allied Leaders after the Second World War - the others presented to Charles de Gaulle, Joseph Stalin, and Harry Truman.
The watch features a distinctive enamel dial showing St. George slaying the dragon, with a trident as the hour hand. As a symbol of the victory of good over evil, Mr Churchill has been reimagined as Britain’s modern day saint for this watch. ‘V’ for Victory is proudly engraved on the back of case together with a personalized dedication: “1939 – Prime Minister Winston Spencer Churchill – 1945”.
Couldn’t get more amazing than this...