Alain.R.Truong

18 avril 2015

Bonhams to auction five masterpieces of the Meiji period

Iron model of a spiny lobster, made by an unknown artisan

Iron model of a spiny lobster, made by an unknown artisan. Estimated at £30,000-40,000 (€42,000 - 56,000). Photo Bonhams.

LONDON.- Five exquisite items from the Meiji Period, including delicate cloisonné and magnificent ironwork, will lead the Fine Japanese Art auction at Bonhams New Bond Street on 14 May. Estimates for the lots, made by some of the greatest craftsmen of the era, range from £5,000-8,000 to £30,000-40,000. 

The top lot of the Meiji Period items in the auction is a fully articulated iron model of a spiny lobster, made by an unknown artisan. Estimated at £30,000-40,000, the model’s reddish-brown body is formed from individually cast, hammered and carved sections, painstakingly crafted to resemble the crustacean’s shell with finely chiselled details. The fully articulated joints allow the model life-like mobility, and it measures 43.7cm (17¼ inches) when the antennae are fully extended. 

Nouveau Dessin OpenDocument

A fine iron kusshin jizai (fully articulated) okimono model of a spiny lobster, Anonymous, Meiji PeriodEstimated at £30,000-40,000 (€42,000 - 56,000). Photo Bonhams. 

The reddish-brown body formed from individually cast, hammered and carved sections crafted to resemble the lobster's shell with finely chiselled details, assembled with fully articulated joints to allow lifelike mobility, unsigned; with wood storage box. 43.7cm (17¼in) long with fully extended antennae. (2).

Note: For another fully articulated iron lobster of similarly fine quality by an unknown artist, see Hirose Mami, et al. (eds.),Chozetsugiko! Meiji Kogei no Iki (Kogei: Superlative Craftsmanship from Meiji Japan), Tokyo, Asano Laboratories, 2014, p.110, pl. nos.6-10.

The Meiji period began in 1868 with the defeat of the forces of the Tokugawa Shogunate, the last feudal military government of Japan, by the armies seeking the restoration of Emperor Meiji. The victory ushered in the new era of Meiji, meaning ‘enlightened rule,’ which lasted until the death of the Emperor on 30 July 1912. Under his rule, Japan underwent social, political and industrial revolution, and emerged as one of the world’s great powers. 

The nation’s success during this period was reflected in the quality of its artisans, and Namikawa Yasuyuki (1845-1927), the creator of two items offered at Bonhams, was among the very greatest. Born in 1845, Yasuyuki started a cloisonné business in Kyoto in 1873 which grew to include more than 20 employees by the 1880s, selling to private clients and fulfilling imperial commissions. He won 11 overseas awards between 1876 and 1904, and built such an impressive reputation that his wares were purchased the moment they were unpacked at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universalle, selling for more than ten times their estimated price.

Two cloisonné enamel pieces by Yasuyuki, a jar and cover and a small vase, are offered at Bonhams with estimates of £8,000-12,000 and £12,000-15,000 respectively. The jar, worked with silver wire, depicts three sparrows standing among wild violets, with four sparrows in flight on the reverse. The domed cover is decorated with a band of stylised flower-heads. The vase, meanwhile, bears an all-over design of stylised cherry blossoms and roundels on a midnight-blue ground, worked with silver and gold wire.

A cloisonné-enamel jar and cover by Namikawa Yasuyuki (1845-1927), Meiji Period, circa 1900

A cloisonné-enamel jar and cover by Namikawa Yasuyuki (1845-1927), Meiji Period, circa 1900. Estimate £8,000 - 12,000 (€11,000 - 17,000). Photo Bonhams.

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The rounded ovoid squat body worked in silver wire with three sparrows standing among wild violets on a light brown ground, the reverse with four sparrows in flight, applied with silver rims and supported with four bracket feet, the domed cover decorated with a band of stylised flowerheads corresponding to the decoration on the shoulder and surmounted with a silver chrysanthemum-finial; the base signed on a silver tablet Kyoto Namikawa11cm (4¼in) high. (2).

Provenance: an English private collection.

Note: Born in 1845 to a rural samurai family, Namikawa Yasuyuki started his cloisonné business in Kyoto in 1873 and by the 1880s was successful enough to build, and then extend and upgrade, a large compound that eventually included workshops housing 20 or more employees, a showroom, a family residence, and a garden with a fishpond. He used these facilities to create a carefully orchestrated private retail experience that was described in admiring detail by American and European travel writers, selling many of his finest wares directly to private clients, as well as carrying out imperial commissions and participating in international expositions. Between 1876 and 1904 he won 11 overseas awards and in 1896, along with his unrelated namesake the Tokyo enameler Namikawa Sosuke (the two family names are written with different characters), was among the first individuals to be appointed to the ranks of Teishitsu Gigeiin (Artist-Craftsmen to the Imperial Household, see also lot nos. 393, 401, 402, 403). Such was his reputation that at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle his wares were snapped up the moment they were unpacked and sold for up to ten times the amount anticipated. For a detailed biography of Namikawa Yasuyuki see Frederic T Schneider, The Art of Japanese Cloisonné EnamelHistory, Techniques and Artists1600 to the Present, Jefferson NC, McFarland, 2010, pp.86–87.

A cloisonné-enamel small vase, by Namikawa Yasuyuki (1845-1927), Meiji Period

A cloisonné-enamel small vase, by Namikawa Yasuyuki (1845-1927), Meiji Period. Estimate £8,000 - 12,000 (€11,000 - 17,000). Photo Bonhams.

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Intricately worked in silver and gold wire with an all-over design of stylised cherry blossoms and overlapping differently coloured roundels scattered over a midnight-blue ground, the neck and foot with matching floral arabesque motifs, signed on the base with chiselled cursive characters on a silver plaque Kyoto Namikawa, applied with a gold rim and foot; with wood storage box. 9cm (3½in) high. (2)..

The auction will also feature two cloisonné enamel works by Namikawa Sōsuke, one of the greatest craft entrepreneurs of the later Meiji era, best known for his set of 32 decorative panels commissioned for Tokyo’s Akasaka Rikyū Palace in 1909. But it was three decades earlier that Sōsuke began experimenting with musen shippō (wireless enamelling), his most enduring contribution to the art form. Previously, wire was required to fix enamels in place during the firing process, but Sōsuke improved the chemistry of the enamels so that they adhered more securely, allowing him to emulate the effects of brush painting on paper or silk. 

The two Sōsuke pieces to be auctioned at Bonhams are a kidney-shaped tray, estimated at £10,000-15,000, and a box and cover, estimated at £5,000-8,000. The tray, worked in musen and silver wire, bears a design of two quails on a ground of pale grey rising to blue, while the reverse depicts cherry blossoms on a dark plum background. The box is decorated in wireless enamel with a prunus branch rising before a full moon. 

A cloisonné-enamel kidney-shaped tray, By Namikawa Sosuke (1847-1910), Meiji Period, 1890-1895

A cloisonné-enamel kidney-shaped tray, By Namikawa Sosuke (1847-1910), Meiji Period, 1890-1895Estimate £10,000 - 15,000 (€14,000 - 21,000). Photo Bonhams.

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Worked in musen and silver wire with a design of two quails, the ground of a pale grey rising to light blue, within ashakudo rim, the reverse worked in gilt wire enamel with numerous densely patterned cherry blossoms in pale brown on a dark plum-coloured ground; signed in silver wire with a single character Sakigake (the seal of Namikawa Sosuke).26cm x 30cm (10¼in x 11¾in).

Provenance: a European private collection.

Note: One of the greatest craft entrepreneurs of the later Meiji era, Namikawa Sosuke was until recently best known in Japan for a set of 32 decorative panels commissioned for Tokyo's Akasaka Rikyu Palace, completed in 1909. These date from the last years of his very productive life, nearly three decades after he began to experiment with the technique known as musen shippo (wireless enameling), his most enduring contribution to an art form that developed at extraordinary speed in Japan between the mid-nineteenth century and the early years of the twentieth century. In Chinese cloisonné enameling, the wires separating the different areas of fused and polished enamels that made up a design also served to hold the enamels in place during the firing process, and the individual areas of color were relatively small. Sosuke, followed shortly after by his rivals, managed to improve the chemistry of the enamels so that they adhered more securely to the metal bases of his wares, allowing him to introduce large areas of color into his designs, although it is thought that wires between different colors still had to be painstakingly applied and removed at each stage of manufacture. Thanks to these and other technical breakthroughs, later Meiji-era enamelers were often able to emulate the effects of brush painting on paper or silk. In recognition of his achievements, in 1896 Sosuke was appointed to the order of Teishitsu Gigeiin (Artist-Craftsman to the Imperial Household).

A cloisonné-enamel box and cover, By Namikawa Sosuke (1847-1910), Meiji Period

A cloisonné-enamel box and cover, By Namikawa Sosuke (1847-1910), Meiji PeriodEstimate £10,000 - 15,000 (€14,000 - 21,000). Photo Bonhams.

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Of shallow rounded square form, bearing a pale-grey ground and decorated in musen shippo (wireless enamel) with a prunus branch rising up before the full moon, the rims mounted with shakudo and the interior of dark-brown enamel, the base signed in thick silver wire with the Sakigake mark of Namikawa Sosuke. 3.8cm x 12.4cm (1½in x 4 7/8in). (2).

Provenance: an English private collection.

The auction of these magnificent items follows the highly successful non-selling exhibition of Meiji-era craft, titled ‘Transformation, Summation, Creation’, which took place at Bonhams New York from 12 - 22 March as part of the Asia Week events. The exhibition showcased 22 works by some of the leading Japanese artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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 Transformation, Summation, Creation’, Japanese Masterpieces From The Meiji Era. Photo Bonhams.


30 masterpieces from St. Petersburg shown in UK for the first time as part of 'Francis Bacon and the Masters'

Francis Bacon, Study for a Portrait of Van Gogh, England, 1956

Francis Bacon, Study for a Portrait of Van Gogh, England, 1956. Oil on Canvas © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. DACS 2014.

NORWICH.- From 18 April, 30 masterpieces on loan from the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg will go on display in the UK for the first time as part of Francis Bacon and the Masters at the Sainsbury Centre, Norwich (18 April – 26 July). The major loan includes important works by Picasso, Velazquez, Rodin, Titian and Matisse, as well as outstanding examples of antique Greek, Roman and Egyptian sculpture. 

Chaïm Soutine, Self-Portrait

Chaïm Soutine, Self-Portrait. c. 1920–1. Oil on canvas, 54 x 30.5 cm. The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.

Francis Bacon and the Masters is a ground-breaking exhibition in which Bacon’s obsession with the art of the past will be brought into full focus. A major body of works by the artist will be juxtaposed with masterpieces by some of the greatest painters and sculptors in the history of art, in a spectacular exploration of Bacon’s working methods and ideas.  

Francis Bacon, Portrait of R

Francis Bacon, Portrait of R.J. Sainsbury, 1955. Oil on canvas; 115 x 99 cm. Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2014. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.

The exhibition comes to Norwich following its internationally acclaimed opening at the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, where it marked the culmination of the celebrations for the 250th anniversary of the Hermitage and concluded the UK/Russia Year of Culture.  

Alonso Cano (1601, Granada – 1667, Granada), The Crucifixion

Alonso Cano (1601, Granada – 1667, Granada), The Crucifixion. Oil on canvas, 265 x 173 cm. The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.

The founders of the Centre, Robert and Lisa Sainsbury were important early patrons of Francis Bacon. They purchased their first Bacon painting, Study for a Nude, in 1953, and went on to commission their portraits from him. The thirteen Bacon paintings in the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection will form the core group of works in the exhibition but they will be joined by important loans drawn from public and private collections across Britain and Ireland. In all, more than 3o works by the artist will be shown.  

Francis Bacon, Crucifixion, 1933

Francis Bacon, Crucifixion, 1933. Oil on canvas, 62 x 48.5cm. Private Collection © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2014. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd. 

The exhibition includes documentary and archive material, including photographs of Bacon’s studio, palettes, books, catalogues and materials owned by the artist and loaned by Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane. Bacon’s preoccupation with the art of the past is vividly revealed in the material drawn from his studio.  

Rembrandt Harmensz

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606, Leiden – 1669, Amsterdam), Portrait of an Old Man. Oil on canvas, 109 x 85 cm. The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.

The exhibition has been created by a team comprised of guest curator Dr Thierry Morel, curator of the Houghton Revisited exhibition in 2014, Lisa Renne from the State Hermitage Museum; and from the Sainsbury Centre, Chief Curator, Amanda Geitner and Calvin Winner, Head of Collections.  

Francis Bacon, Head of a Man, 1960

Francis Bacon, Head of a Man, 1960. Oil on canvas; 38 x 32 cm. Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2014. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.

Speaking of the exhibition, Sainsbury Centre Director, Professor Paul Greenhalgh said: “Bacon felt intensely close to his painter forebears, the grand masters, and he endlessly made use of them in the search for his own language. Like Picasso, he was an eclectic Modernist, who took what he needed from the art of the past to make it the art of the present. This exhibition is about the use of the past by one of the greatest modern painters: the past re-interpreted and refigured in the psychologically tense, frenetic world of a man searching for meaning at the boundary edge of life”.

Sotheby's Geneva announces Sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels on 12 May

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GENEVA.- Sotheby’s auction of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels in Geneva this spring promises a breath-taking array of stunning and important jewels, whose breadth and variety represents a veritable treasure chest of exceptional jewels. The auction, to be held on 12 May, includes ‘The Historic Pink Diamond’, an extremely rare and highly important Fancy Vivid Pink diamond of 8.72 carats, alongside ‘The Sunrise Ruby’, a superb and extremely rare Burmese ruby weighing 25.59 carats with outstanding depth of colour. In addition to diamonds and gemstones of the very highest quality, the event will showcase signed jewels and historic pieces with exemplary provenance, including a stunning private collection of jewels by Cartier and no fewer than five exquisite tiaras – three of them formerly in the collection of Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe. 

Looking ahead to the sale, David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, commented: “I have remained in awe of the ‘Sunrise Ruby’ since the first moment I set eyes on it. In over 40 years, I cannot recall ever having seen another Burmese ruby of this exceptional size possessing such outstanding colour. We are also very excited to be offering a worldclass fancy vivid pink diamond, dubbed the ‘Historic Pink Diamond’ by the GIA*, along with a remarkable wealth of signed pieces, including a private collection of extraordinary jewels by Cartier. We’ve had a tremendous response from those who’ve viewed the wonderfully rich selection to be offered in our Geneva sale.” 

The Historic Pink Diamond – a 8

The Historic Pink Diamond – a 8.72-carat Fancy Vivid Pink diamondLot 460, estimate: CHF 13,650,000 - 17,500,000 / US$ 14,000,000 – 18,000,000. Photo courtesy Sotheby's

THE HISTORIC PINK DIAMOND’ GIA MONOGRAPH 
Sotheby's will present in May 'The Historic Pink Diamond', an extremely rare and highly important Fancy Vivid Pink diamond which, according to the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA), is believed to have been part of the collection of Princess Mathilde, niece of Napoleon I. This exquisite stone boasts VS2 clarity and mesmerising colour. 

The 8.72-carat stone is also remarkable for its classic non-modified cushion cut, unusual in a pink diamond and a highly sought-after shape for connoisseurs of the very finest precious jewels. 

The market for coloured diamonds and precious gemstones has never been stronger, and pink diamonds rank among the rarest of all. In October, Sotheby's set a new benchmark for pink diamonds, with the sale of a superb and highly important Fancy Vivid Purplish-pink diamond weighing 8.41 carats, which achieved $17.8 million. 

In its assessment of this diamond, the GIA declares that it "takes its place amongst fabled Vivid Pink gems" known in the world. 

FOUR EXCEPTIONAL JEWELS BY CARTIER: A STUNNING PRIVATE COLLECTION 

 

The Sunrise Ruby – a 25

Sothebys_Most Valuable Ruby_Sunrise Ruby from the top

The Sunrise Ruby – a 25.59-carat Burmese RubyLot 502, estimate: CHF 11,700,000 – 17,500,000 / US$ 12,000,000 – 18,000,000Photo courtesy Sotheby's

‘THE SUNRISE RUBY’ 
Described as a ‘unique treasure of nature’ by the Swiss Gemmological Institute, the ‘Sunrise Ruby’ leads this exceptional collection of Cartier Jewels. 

This superb and extremely rare Burmese ruby weighing 25.59 carats is breathtaking in its extraordinary size and outstanding depth of colour. Untouched by heat treatment, the stone is of ‘pigeon’s blood’ red: the rarest and most soughtafter of hues.

Cartier Diamond Ivresse Necklace

Cartier Diamond Ivresse NecklaceLot 501, estimate: 5,850,000 – 9,750,000 / US$ 6,000,000 – 10,000,000Photo courtesy Sotheby's

The collection of exceptional Cartier jewels also features a magnificent diamond necklace, featuring diamonds totalling more than 190 carats. Custom-made for the owner, this captivating jewel is designed as a cascade of diamonds, the front accented with a floral motif and suspending a fringe of nine pear-shaped stones. 

A 30

A 30.23-carat Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond Brooch, by CartierLot 499, estimate: CHF 3,410,000 – 5,850,000 / US$ 3,500,000 – 6,000,000Photo courtesy Sotheby's

Alongside it, the sale will offer a ravishing brooch set with a 30.23-carat sapphire from Kashmir – the most highly coveted origin for sapphires. The Swiss Gemmological Institute describes the sapphire’s colour as ‘velvety and saturated’, due in part to a ‘combination of well-balanced trace elements in the gemstone, typical and characteristic for the very finest sapphires of Kashmir’.

A Pair of Burmese Sapphire and Diamond Earrings by Cartier

A Pair of Burmese Sapphire and Diamond Earrings by Cartier. Lot 500, estimate: CHF 780,000 – 1,170,000 / US$ 800,000 – 1,200,000Photo courtesy Sotheby's

Completing this stunning private collection is a pair of elegant sapphire and diamond earrings, made with two exceptionally well-matched Burmese Mogok sapphires of 15.77 and 16.90 carats respectively. The jewels stand out for the exquisite quality and symmetry of the gemstones and the design. 

EXEMPLARY PROVENANCE: THE ROXBURGHE COLLECTION 
Sotheby’s will offer exceptional jewels from the Estate of Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe, granddaughter of Rothschild heiress Hannah and British Prime Minister the Earl of Rosebery, whose wedding to the Duke of Roxburghe brought together two of Britain’s great aristocratic families. The collection includes no fewer than three stunning tiaras, along with a strikingly varied and rich selection of the finest jewels. 

The tiaras are led by a stunning piece created by Cartier in the 1930s, of geometric design delightfully expressing this era of the designer’s creation. 

A Diamond Tiara, by Cartier, circa 1930s

The Estate of Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe. A Diamond Tiara, by Cartier, circa 1930sLot 497, estimate: CHF 295,000 – 485,000 / US$ 300,000 – 500,000Photo courtesy Sotheby's

A 19th Century Diamond TiaraNecklace

The Estate of Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe. A 19th Century Diamond Tiara-NecklaceLot 493, estimate CHF 295,000 – 485,000 / US$ 300,000 – 500,000Photo courtesy Sotheby's.

The second dating from the 19th century, is a wonderfully intricate tiara / necklace composed of fleurs de lys and confronting scroll motifs, delightfully swing-set with a graduated row of twenty superb pear-shaped diamonds. 

The third tiara in this collection is a delicate ruby and diamond creation (LOT 490, estimate: CHF 78,000 – 98,000 / US$ 80,000 – 100,000). 

Other pieces from this extraordinary ensemble of jewels include an important mid-19th-century diamond rivière necklace (LOT 492, estimate: CHF 245,000 – 340,000 / US$ 250,000 – 350,000); an exquisite natural pearl and diamond necklace dating to around 1920 (LOT 496, estimate: CHF 245,000 – 345,000 / US$250,000 – 350,000); and a perfectly-proportioned natural pearl and diamond double-clip brooch made by Cartier in the 1930s (LOT 495, estimate: CHF 49,000 - 69,000 / US$ 50,000 – 70,000). 

CROWNING GLORY: MAJESTIC TIARAS 
In addition to the three exquisite examples from the Roxburghe Estate, the Geneva auction will offer a further two stunning tiaras – a total of five very fine pieces in a single sale, which is extremely rare. 

From the Collection of the Earl of Mar and Kellie, a breath-taking diamond tiara / necklace, designed in the style of a ‘tiare russe’, dating back to the 1880s and drawing inspiration from the Russian kokoshniks - traditional fan- shaped head ornaments inspired by the cockscomb. This tiara was worn by the 12th Countess of Mar at the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902 (LOT 477, estimate CHF 145,000 – 285,000 / US$ 150,000 – 295,000). 

The fifth tiara to be offered in May is a very elegant emerald and diamond tiara dating to the early 20th century. The piece is designed as two lines of circular-cut diamonds, surmounted with scroll and fleur de lys motifs, the scrolls topped with drop-shaped emeralds (LOT 370, estimate: CHF 39,000 – 59,000 / US$ 40,000-60,000).  

AN INCOMPARABLE NATURAL PEARL NECKLACE 
Connoisseurs of the very finest natural pearls will no doubt be captivated by the exceptional quality of this superb and extremely rare natural pearl necklace. The jewel is composed of two stunning graduated rows strung with seventy-eight splendid natural pearls.  

A CAPTIVATING ANTIQUE RUBY AND DIAMOND JEWEL 
This captivating ruby and diamond jewel boasts illustrious provenance, having been in the collection of a European Princely Family, and is set with an enchanting Burmese ruby weighing 14.89 carats. In its assessment of the stone, the Gübelin Gem Lab states that the ‘remarkable gemstone’ ‘possesses a richly saturated and homogenous colour’, free from heat treatment – which is ‘rare in natural Burmese rubies of this size.’ (LOT 476, estimate CHF 1,170,000 – 2,140,000 / US$ 1,200,000 – 2,200,000). 

IMPRESSIVE DIAMONDS 
The Geneva evening event will include a number of very impressive colourless and coloured diamonds, including a superb cushion-cut diamond ring weighing 33.58 carats. This beautiful stone is D colour, Flawless, Type IIa (LOT 447, estimate: CHF 4,870,000 – 6,800,000 / US$ 5,000,000 – 7,000,000). 

Also worthy of note is an impressive pear-shaped colourless diamond weighing 31.93 carats; the elegant stone is also D colour and possesses VS1 clarity (LOT 452, estimate CHF 3,400,000 – 3,800,000 / US$ 3,500,000 – 4,000,000). 

The selection of coloured diamonds will feature a stunning Fancy Yellow cushioncut diamond of VS2 clarity, weighing 53.17 carats (LOT 425, estimate: CHF 1,560,000 – 2,150,000 / US$ 1,600,000 – 2,200,000). 

LOT 498, estimate CHF 2,920,000 – 4,870,000 / US$ 3,000,000 – 5,000,000  

FASCINATING SIGNED PIECES: CARTIER - SCHLUMBERGER - BOUCHERON 
The most accomplished design and craftsmanship underscore the selection of fine jewels on offer in May. Standout signed pieces showcasing the very finest in jewellery design include a rare and superb gem set vanity case by Cartier, made in 1925. This example combines the very finest elements of Cartier’s production in this period (LOT 451, estimate: CHF 110,000 – 160,000 / US$ 115,000 – 165,000). 

Admirers of Cartier’s Art Deco designs will also have the opportunity to own a delightful example of the jewellery house’s “Tutti-Frutti” design, in the form of a pair of captivating gem set and diamond clips. These covetable clips, created in the 1930s, were formerly in the collection of Lydia, Lady Deterding (LOT 469, estimate: CHF 69,000 – 98,000 / US$ 70,000 – 100,000). 

Among the rich selection of Noble Jewels to be featured in the auction, an important ruby and diamond bangle-bracelet illustrates the flair and bold design of Boucheron. Of hinged design, the jewel is decorated with rubies in a concealed setting, and has been in the collection of a European Imperial Royal Family (LOT 472, estimate: CHF 390,000 – 680,000 / US$ 400,000 - 700,000). 

French design is also represented by the striking creations of Jean Schlumberger: the sale in May will offer a selection of fabulously ornate jewels from the 1960s, including a gem-set and diamond demi-parure (LOT 453, estimate: CHF 69,000 – 105,000 / US$ 70,000 – 110,000).

Mauritshuis is proud new owner of a flower still life by Ludger Tom Ring the Younger

Ludger tom Ring the Younger (1522-1584), Narcissi, Periwinkle and Violets in a Ewer, c

Ludger tom Ring the Younger (1522-1584), Narcissi, Periwinkle and Violets in a Ewer, c.1562. Panel (reduced) 35 x 15.5 cm. Mauritshuis, The Hague, on permanent loan from the Foundation Friends of the Mauritshuis (new acquisition).

THE HAGUE.- As of today, the Mauritshuis is the proud new owner of a special flower still life: Narcissi, Periwinkle and Violets in a Ewer (ca. 1562) by German painter Ludger Tom Ring the Younger (1522-1584). 

The Mauritshuis has obtained the painting on permanent loan from the Foundation Friends of the Mauritshuis, which recently purchased it at an auction in New York. The panel is an unusually early example of an independent flower still life, making it extremely rare. 

Emilie Gordenker, director of the Mauritshuis: "An early sixteenth-century painted flower still life such as this acquisition is a first for the Mauritshuis and for any Dutch public collection. The Mauritshuis has been seeking to add such a painting to its collection for some time. Ludger tom Ring's works have not been represented in any Dutch collection – until today. We are extremely thankful to our Friends for acquiring this painting and placing it on loan to the Mauritshuis

A particularly early bouquet 
Independent flower still lifes painted before 1600 are a rarity. Until that time, bouquets appeared at most as part of a larger work, such as a representation of the Virgin Mary. A painting that is often named as the first independent flower still life is a panel by Hans Memling, but this bouquet from around 1485-1490 was painted on the back of a man’s portrait. Originally, that portrait was part of a diptych featuring Mary, such that the flower still life could only be seen when the panels were closed. 

After 1600, flowers became a popular independent subject in paintings. Artists such as Jan Brueghel the Elder and Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder then started painting flower still lifes at about the same time. Ludger tom Ring anticipated this trend by about forty years. He was therefore a pioneer, and painted only six other flower still lifes aside from this acquisition, all of which are in foreign collections. 

In order to ascertain which flowers are represented in the painting, the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden studied the painting together with Eric Breed, an expert on bulbous plants. As a result, we now know that the tall ewer contains a bouquet of narcissi, periwinkle and violets. On the table lay a single violet, some periwinkle flowers, and a sprig of rue. Originally, the periwinkle was violet, but the pigment smalt has lost its hue in the course of the centuries. This process has also been observed in the other flower still lifes by Tom Ring. The ewer, made of white-glazed earthenware, is decorated with golden ornaments. Ludger tom Ring painted his signature on the body of the vessel, but only the letters 'LV [. . . .] RIN[G]’ are still legible. 

Ludger Tom Ring (1522-1584) 
Ludger Tom Ring was the youngest scion of the Ring artist family from Münster, and mainly produced portraits and flower still lifes. The prefix 'tom' used by the family means 'on or at the ring'. Ludger learned the trade from his father and travelled for some time through Holland, Flanders, and England. In 1569, he settled in Braunschweig, Germany, where he remained until his death. The prominent signature on the acquisition clearly indicates that Ludger tom Ring was profiling himself as a true Renaissance artist with a high degree of self-awareness. He was one of the earliest German artists to paint a self-portrait. 

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Ludger Tom Ring the Younger, Selfportrait, 1547, oil on oak panel, 35 × 24,5 cm, Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum.

Importance of the Acquisition 
The exceptionally fine Dutch and Flemish flower still lifes of the Mauritshuis offer an excellent overview of the development of the genre. The painting by Tom Ring provides an attractive prelude to the still lifes from the first quarter of the seventeenth century by painters mentioned above, such as Jan Brueghel the Elder and Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder. Compared to the modest flower still life by Tom Ring, those compositions are much more ambitious. They depict larger bouquets, more exotic species, and combine types which do not blossom at the same time in real life. These paintings thereby show something that cannot exist in reality, as it were surpassing nature. All the plants in the newly acquired work bloom in the spring. Ludger tom Ring seems to have painted an existing bouquet, and in doing so he immortalised a bunch of spring flowers that can now be enjoyed the whole year round. 

Foundation Friends of the Mauritshuis 
The acquisition was made for the Mauritshuis by the Friends of the Mauritshuis Foundation. The Mauritshuis is largely dependent on private support. The Friends of the Mauritshuis provide a significant contribution to this end. With the support of the Friends, the Mauritshuis has been able to acquire some unique pieces throughout the years, including Rembrandt's Portrait of an Elderly Man, and Still Life with Cheeses, Almonds and Pretzels by Clara Peeters. In addition, the Friends support special exhibitions

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A museum employee hangs the painting "Narcissi, calamine violets and periwinkle in a facon-de-Venise ewer, on a ledge with a sprig of rue" (1562) by German painter Ludger Tom Ring II (1522-1584) at the Mauritshuis art museum in The Hague, the Netherlands, on April 16, 2015. The painting was bought during an auction of the Friends of the Mauritshuis Foundation. AFP PHOTO / ANP / REMKO DE WAAL.

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Employees prepare to install the painting "Narcissi, calamine violets and periwinkle in a facon-de-Venise ewer, on a ledge with a sprig of rue" (1562) by German painter Ludger Tom Ring II (1522-1584) at the Mauritshuis art museum in The Hague, the Netherlands, on April 16, 2015. The painting was bought during an auction of the Friends of the Mauritshuis Foundation. AFP PHOTO / ANP / REMKO DE WAAL.

Posté par Alain Truong à 11:34 - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]

A red-overlay glass bowl and cover, Qing dynasty, 18th-19th century

A red-overlay glass bowl and cover, Qing dynasty, 18th-19th century

A red-overlay glass bowl and cover, Qing dynasty, 18th-19th century Estimate HK$150,000-200,000 ($20,000-32,000). Unsold. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2015

The opaque white bowl is carved through the red layer with flowers interspersed with scroll decoration above a band of lotus petals to the foot. The domed cover is similarly decorated surrounding the finial. The base is incised with an apocryphal four-character mark within a double square. The bowl, 4¡ in. (11.2 cm.) diam.

Property from the collection of Geronimo Berenguer De Los Reyes, Jr.

Christie'sTHE PAVILION SALE - CHINESE CERAMICS AND WORKS OF ART, 6 April 2015, 22nd Floor