LONDON – From Wednesday 4 to Friday 6 June 2008 Christie’s will host British Art Week, a series of auctions, lectures and events dedicated to the history of British art and furniture. British Art Week presents a selection of paintings, watercolours, furniture and sculpture representing over 300 years of British art which will be offered over four sales held between 4 and 6 June. Highlights include works by many renowned artists, including Burne-Jones, Heron, Hepworth, Lowry, Millais and Turner, as well as a selection of important furniture from four British collections. The sales are expected to realise in the region of £20 million and will be scheduled as follows:
Wednesday 4 June at 2.30pm: British Art on Paper including a Collection of Drawings by Augustus John London – A breathtaking array of beautiful British Art on Paper kick starts Christie’s exciting British Art Week on Wednesday, 4 June. Featuring over 90 works, which span three centuries, the sale is led by Joseph Mallord William Turner’s atmospheric watercolour The Mew Stone, off Plymouth Harbour (estimate: £250,000-350,000), which comes with extraordinary provenance; having originally been acquired by John Ruskin, the influential art historian, critic and artist, at Christie’s in 1869 and now offered for sale from the Collection of Denys Sutton, the long-reigning editor of Apollo Magazine. With estimates ranging from £800 to £350,000, the sale as a whole is expected to realise in excess of £2 million.
Other highlights include 30 works by Augustus John which are from a private collection previously hung in the artist’s Chelsea studio and works by Sir Thomas Lawrence, Sir William Russell Flint, Walter Langley , Edward Lear, Peter de Wint and a captivating Study for a head of a mermaid, 1886, by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, (estimate: £50,000-80,000)).
Thursday, 5 June at 10.30am: Four British Collections including Important Furniture – This sale offers a total of 209 works from four British collections, each formed under the auspices of a decorator: Hicks, Jansen, Whealon and Iliffe, which combine to provide a gloriously varied array of divine furniture and works of art which celebrate British connoisseurship. With estimates ranging from £1,000 to £150,000, the sale overall is expected to fetch in the region of £4 million.
The sale includes both English and European masterpieces and highlights range from the genius design of a circular ‘Jupe’ extending dining table, attributed to Johnstone, Jeanes & Co., mid 19th century (estimate: £100,000-150,000), a late Louis XV ormolu-mounted marquetry and parquetry commode, attributed to Jean-Francois Oeben, circa 1760 (estimate: £100,000-150,000) to an Irish George II mahogany side table, mid 18th century (estimate: £80,000-120,000) and a pair of slender, Campana shaped Louis XVI ormolu-mounted agate and white marble vases (estimate: £60,000-100,000). Other significant works include a George III white marble chimneypiece, designed by Robert Adam, circa 1765 (estimate: 70,000-100,000), a matched pair of north Italian, ebonised and parcel-gilt ‘chinoiserie’ circular centre tables, first half 19th century (estimate: £60,000-100,000) and a pair a pair of George III ormolu tripod perfume-burners, circa 1779, by Matthew Boulton (estimate: £30,000-50,000).
Thursday, 5 June at 2.30pm: Victorian & Traditionalist Pictures – Christie’s auctions of Victorian and Traditionalist Pictures in June and November 2007 realised a combined total of £8.6 million illustrating the continuingly resurgent market for the category. This sale features 99 atmospheric works and is led by an entrancing portrait ‘Twixt Hope and Fear by Lord Frederic Leighton (estimate: £800,000-1,200,000), as well as two impressive works Jasmine by Albert Joseph Moore (estimate: £600,000-800,000) and The Triumph of Love, a painting on 4 canvases framed as one by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (estimate: £400,000-600,000). Both of the latter paintings are offered from the non-core collection of Watts Gallery, Surrey, in order to raise money for the collection endowment fund at the Gallery to safeguard the future of its core collection. With estimates ranging from £3,000 to £1,200,000, the sale is expected to realise in excess of 4million.
Notable works offered elsewhere include further highlights such as Waiting for the Verdict; and Not Guilty, 1859, by Abraham Solomon (estimate: £400,000-600,000), The First Meal, circa 1894 (estimate: £300,000-500,000) by Henry Herbert La Thangue, Wedding Cards by Sir John Everett Millais (estimate: £300,000-500,000) and The Sleeping Beauty by The Hon. John Collier, 1921 (estimate: £300,000-500,000).
Friday, 6 June at 10.30 am: 20th Century British Art including the Peter Meyer Collection – This auction includes 183 inspirational paintings, drawings and sculptures by the leading names of the genre; which in colour, composition, style and theme imbue visual delight. With estimates ranging from £1,000 to £1million, the sale overall is expected to realise over £12.5 million. Christie’s are proud to offer a section of works from the Peter Meyer Collection, which is one of the finest, most comprehensive collections of 20th Century British Art to be offered at auction and comprises paintings by Henry Moore, Lucian Freud, Ben Nicholson, Graham Sutherland, Bridget Riley and William Scott, all of which appear at auction for the first time.
Elsewhere four superb works by Laurence Stephen Lowry will be offered and are led by Manchester City vs. Sheffield United, 1938 (estimate: £700,000-1,000,000) and An Old Church, 1943 (estimate: £700,000-1,000,000), a recently discovered work by which has not been seen in public since the 1940s when it was bought by the present owner’s mother from the artist’s London agents.
The plethora of other important works range from five Barbara Hepworth sculptures led by Sea Form (Porthmeor), 1958 (estimate: £400,000-600,000), and Head of J.Y.M. – Profile V, 1987 by Frank Auerbach (estimate: £200,000-300,000), to Racehorses, 1912 by David Bomberg (estimate: £250,000-350,000) and Bowl, Eggs and Lemons, 1950, by William Scott (estimate: £300,000-500,000), as well as Camellia Garden: March 1956, by Patrick Heron (estimate: £200,000-300,000), Porthcadjack, blue & black, 1960, by Paul Feiler (estimate: £100,000-150,000), four lots of Tribute Heads by Dame Elisabeth Frink (estimate: £80,000 – 120,000 each) and Still life of white cup, saucer and jug on a table, circa 1917-18 by Harold Gilman (estimate: £50,000-70,000).