Glittering competition: the rivals of Faberge

Editorial Staff Art

To many collectors of nineteenth-century silver and objets de vertu, imperial Russia is the fount of Europe’s most exotic work. And even for those who can only dream of its legacy de luxe, mention of Mother Russia immediately triggers thoughts of one name, Fabergé. Coffeepot marked by Antip Ivanovich Kuzmichev (active c. 1856-1900), Moscow, c. 1890. Stamped “Made for Tiffany …

American paintings at auction

Editorial Staff Art, Exhibitions

On the horizon are the fall sales of American paintings, drawings, and sculpture at Christie’s and Sotheby’s in New York. Among the highlights to be offered at Christie’s, on December 2, is Andrew Wyeth’s 1960  Above the Narrows, a painting the New York Times art critic Roberta Smith once referred to as “bleak” and “inexplicably barren,” featuring a young boy …

This Week’s Top Lots: May 9 – 15

Editorial Staff Art

*  At Brunk Auctions in Asheville, North Carolina the top lot of the May 9-10 sale was a Chinese famille rose vase that was sold for $1.2 million (estimate $400-800). The vase was purchased at a yard sale seven years ago and thought to be a 20th century copy—it is now believed to be an example of Qianlong Dynasty Imperial …

This Week’s Top Lots: May 3 – 8

Editorial Staff Art

*  Treadway Tooomey Galleries in Illinois sold 20th century art and design on May 3. The top lot was a Charles Rolfs game table that sold for $26,000 (estimate $20,000-30,000). A Keith Haring ink drawing, Studio 54, brought $29,000 (estimate $15,000-20,000), and Walter Dorwin Teague and Edwin Fuerst’s Embassy stemware for Libbey Glass sold for $10,000 (estimate $2,000-2,500). *  The …

This Week’s Top Lots: April 6 – 10

Editorial Staff Art

*  This week Sotheby’s hosted several important auctions in Hong Kong from Saturday to Wednesday.  Overall the sales were disappointing, totaling $89 million (reportedly less than half of last year’s figure), but with several bright spots. The auction house’s first single-owner wine sale in Asia, and its sale of “Eight Treasures from a European Collection” (which alone brought $12.2 million) …

Sleeping beauties

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

Beds recently offered at auction and antiques shows demonstrate a rich area of the decorative arts in which provenance and personal history is key. At the Bonhams New York sale of American furniture this past February, the top lot was a rare Herter Brothers bedstead that was made around 1872 for the master bedroom of Milton Slocum Latham’s Thurlow Lodge …

This Week’s Top Lots: March 23 – 27

Editorial Staff Art

*  A week of 20th century design auctions kicked off on Tuesday at Wright in Chicago, with a steady sale that brought in over $1.5 million with 72.5% sold by lot. The top selling items were both by Paul Evans, a Faceted cabinet (model PE-354) that sold for $44,375 (estimate $20,000-30,000) and an Argente cabinet (model PE-38A) which brought $32,500 …

This Week’s Top Lots: March 16 – 20

Editorial Staff Art

* Despite having to remove a portrait by Johann Zoffany of Major George Maule, due to questions over its title, the sale of property from the Lake Como villa of Gianni Versace well exceeded expectations. It brought in over £7.4 million ($10,390,769) at Sotheby’s on Wednesday, doubling the presale high estimate. Indicating the market strength of decorative arts, the top …

The Rabbit and the Rat: Who owns Chinese Antiquities? An interview with Kate Fitz Gibbon

Editorial Staff Opinion

Among the notable objects at the Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé sale were a pair of bronze heads, a rabbit and a rat, that were two of twelve zodiacal forms that originally decorated an elaborate clepsydra, or water clock, in the Yuanming Yuan garden of the Old Summer Palace under Emperor Qianlong (1736-1795). In 1860, during the Second Opium …