Tuesday 31 May 2016

Animation Art Auctions: Bonhams, Heritage, Van Eaton

Just Mickey/The Haunted House Mickey Mouse Production Cel and Painted Background (Walt Disney, 1929-30) Bid $ 8,000
The animation art market has been sizzling for the last couple years. In June, it’ll be more heated than ever when three houses will hold major animation art auctions within the span of eight days. Nearly two thousand pieces of animation art and ephemera will be sold at these auctions.

Heritage Auctions will kick off the frenzy on June 11 and 12 with the largest auction of the bunch, with over 850 lots. On June 13, Bonhams will present “TCM Presents … Drawn to Film”.

On June 18, Van Eaton Galleries presents 700-plus lots of materials in its “Collecting Disney” auction.

Heavenly Puss Tom and Jerry Production Cel Setup and Key Master Production Background (MGM, 1949). Bid $ 1300.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Snow White and Forest Animals Production Cel Setup and Key Master Background (Walt Disney, 1937). Bid $ 6,500
Carl Barks "Tantrum On the Way" Donald Duck Limited Edition Bronze Bust #105/200 (1997). Bid $ 700

Who Framed Roger Rabbit Roger Rabbit Production Cel (Walt Disney/Steven Spielberg, 1988) Bid $ 220.

The Three Little Wolves Big Bad Wolf Production Cel and Key Master Background (Walt Disney, 1936). Bid $ 850

The Little Mermaid Ariel Production Cel (Walt Disney, 1989). Bid $ 150

Eyvind Earle Sleeping Beauty Production Cel and Master Painted Pan Production Background Setup (Walt Disney, 1959). Bid $ 4,800

Eyvind Earle Sleeping Beauty Maleficent Concept Painting (Walt Disney, 1959). Bid $ 650

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Production Cel and Master Background (Walt Disney, 1937). Bid $ 7,500

Monday 30 May 2016

Christie’s spring sale of American art

At Christie’s spring sale of American art on May 19, a large-scale painting by Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1986), “Lake George Reflection,” painted circa 1921–22, led the day at $12,933,000.

The sale of 98 lots totaled $42,737,500 with 68 percent sold by lot and 79 percent sold by value. It offered works ranging from major American Modernists O’Keeffe, Arthur Dove and Max Weber to Nineteenth Century masters Frederic Edwin Church, John Singer Sargent and James Abbott McNeill Whistler.
Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) Blue I, watercolor on paper, 1916. $2,405,000

Max Weber (1881-1961) $1,925,000
George Inness (1825-1894) Summer, Montclair. $269,000

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) Red Hills with Pedernal, White Clouds oil on canvas.$4,533,000

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) The Barns, Lake George. $3,301,000

Frederic Remington (1861-1909) The Broncho Buster $173,000
Paul Manship (1885-1966) Leda. marble $341,000

Saturday 28 May 2016

Christie's 250th Anniversary Sale - John Constable

As part of its 250th anniversary celebration, Christie's is offering a rare, full-scale sketch by master British artist John Constable, "View on the Stour near Dedham" (circa 1821–22) at its 'Defining British Art' sale in London on June 30. The sketch is estimated at £12 million to £16 million.

Christie's holds the record for a work by Constable, having sold 'The Lock' (1837) for £22 million ($35 million) in July 2012 in London.

Going even further back in its provenance, in May of 1837, at what is listed as "possibly the artist's sale," the work was sold for £6.10
Another Constable that Christie's handled in the past few years made headlines for another reason, when it was sold as the work of a "follower of John Constable," for a mere $5,212 (£3,500) in London in July 2013 . The eagle-eyed buyer who scooped it up had it cleaned and then successfully went about having it authenticated as a work by the master himself.

Less than two years later, it was consigned to Sotheby's where it sold for $5.2 million.

The Cornfield (1826); National Gallery of Art, London

Friday 27 May 2016

Foundational US Documents Total $6.2 Million At Sotheby’s Auction

“Two Centuries of American History,” Sotheby’s sale of rare books and manuscripts on May 26, charting the development of the United States of America, achieved $6,183,250. The auction was led by two highly significant documents signed by President Abraham Lincoln, the Thirteenth Amendment and the Emancipation Proclamation.

A rare manuscript copy of the Thirteenth Amendment, one of three “Senate” copies known to exist brought $2,410,000. A limited edition of the Emancipation Proclamation, the only version with the full text to be signed by Lincoln, sold for $2,170,000, above the high estimate of $2 million. This groundbreaking document not only declared some 4 million to be free, but also changed the mission of the Civil War from simply preserving the Union to eradicating slavery. It is one of 27 in existence, 19 of which are in institutions.

Saturday 21 May 2016

Treasures of the Atocha

Spanish expansion in the New World was rapid and by the late 1500's Mexico City, Lima and Potosi had populations that exceeded the largest cities in Spain. Spanish settlers were given vast tracts of land to grow tobacco, coffee and other products for export. Far more important to the throne was the wealth of silver and gold, which were vital to Spain's continued dominance as a global power.

Trade with the colonies followed a well-established system. Beginning in 1561 and continuing until 1748, two fleets a year were sent to the New World. The ships brought supplies to the colonists and were then filled with silver, gold, agricultural products and sometimes the colonists for the return voyage back to Spain.
The fleets sailed from Cadiz, Spain early in the year. Upon arrival in the Caribbean, the two fleets would split up, the Nueva España Fleet continuing on to Veracruz, Mexico and the Tierra Firme Fleet to Portobello in Panama. Here, the ships were unloaded and the cargo of silver and gold brought aboard. For the return trip the divided fleets reassembled in Havana, then rode the Gulf Stream north along the coast of Florida before turning east when at the same latitude as Spain.

The treasure fleets faced two main obstacles; weather and pirates. The hurricane season began in late July, so the operation was timed for an earlier departure. For protection against pirates, each fleet was equipped with two heavily armed guard galleons. The lead ship was known as the Capitana. The other galleon, called the amaranth, was to bring up the rear. A recently constructed 110 foot galleon, the Nuestra Señora de Atocha, was designated the amaranth of the Tierra Firme Fleet.

The fleet departed Spain on March 23, 1622 and after a brief stop continued on to the Colombian port city of Cartagena, arriving in Portobello on May 24th. Treasure from Lima and Potosi was still arriving by mule train from Panama City. It would take 2 months to record and load the Atocha's vast cargo in preparation for departure. Finally, on July 22, the Tierra Firme Fleet set sail for Havana, via Cartagena, to meet the fleet returning from Veracruz.

In Cartagena, the Atocha received an additional cargo load of treasure, much of it gold and silver from Santa Fe de Bogotá. As a military escort, the Atocha carried a company of 82 infantrymen to defend the vessel from attack and possible enemy boarding. For this reason, she was the ship of choice for wealthy passengers and carried a large portion of the fleet's treasure.

On Sunday, September 4th, with the weather near perfect, the decision was made to set sail for Spain. The twenty-eight ships of the combined fleet raised anchor and in single file set a course due north towards the Florida Keys and the Gulf Stream current.

The Atocha, sitting low from its heavy cargo, took up its assigned position in the rear. By evening the wind started to pick up out of the northeast growing stronger through the night.
The Atocha, Santa Margarita, Nuestra Señora del Rosario and two smaller vessels at the tail end of the convoy received the full impact of the hurricane. All five ships were lost, the Atocha being lifted high on a wave and smashed violently on a coral reef. She sunk instantly, pulled to the bottom by her heavy cargo. The next day, a small merchant ship making its way through the debris rescued five Atocha survivors still clinging to the ship mizzenmast.
They were all that were left of 265 passengers and crew.
Mel Fisher formed a company called Treasure Salvors and began searching in earnest for the much talked about Atocha.

His efforts over a sixteen-year period from 1970 to 1986 led to the discovery of the Santa Margarita in 1980 and the Atocha on July 20, 1985, her hull lying in 55 feet of water, exactly as recorded by the first salvagers in 1622.

Lost in the shipwreck of Nuestra Señora de Atocha, Florida Keys, 1622

Estimation: 150,000 - 250,000 USD

LOT SOLD. 410,500 USD (Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium)

NOTE DE CATALOGUE: The magnificent emerald jewel of the lost Atocha showcases the largest faceted stone in the group of emerald-set jewels recovered from the shipwreck of the famous Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha.

A gold chalice from the Margarita was the top selling lot, fetching $413,000.
A collection of shipwrecked 17th and 18th century Spanish treasure discovered off the coast of Florida was sold in New York in 2015 for about $2m.

US treasure hunter Mel Fisher was most famous for discovering the shipwrecked Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha, which went down in a hurricane in 1622, laden with new world riches.

A gold crucifix with inlaid Colombian emerald jewels went for $119,000.
After searching for some 16 years, treasure hunter Mel Fisher unearthed the treasures of Atocha near the Florida Keys in 1985. 40 items from the impressive cache went up for auction in New York City on August 5, 2015.

A gold bar from the Atocha made $93,750.

The golden spoon was thought to be used by priests during Communion to convert South American natives. $62,000.
The haul includes two spectacular gold chains, one called a 'money chain'. Fisher wore it on the 'Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson' soon after the ship's discovery. It brought $75,000

In the Colonial era, the Spanish king placed a 20 percent tariff on gold bullion called the Royal Fifth. But if the gold was turned into jewelry, the tax was forgiven. Each link of the 'money chain' is of equal size and weight and could be twisted off and used as formal currency.
Also up for auction was a Bezoar Stone, which was believed to remove poisons and toxins from liquids. The pendant, about the size of an egg, is encased in a gold mounting with four arms grasping the stone.
A magnificent emerald jewel from the lost Atocha. It made $ 410,000 in 2013

The Guernsey's sale also offered about 100 silver coins from the Atocha sister ship, the Santa Margarita, ranging from $1,000 and up.