Christie’s Announce New Fine Art Sales

Christie’s will introduce a new global auction calendar in October, adding exciting new collecting opportunities to the traditional Fall auction calendar. Presented by Christie’s unified “20/21” department, the new calendar will feature a mid-autumn marquee week of Evening and Day sales in New York ahead of the traditional November auctions, and a synchronised series of sales in London and Paris – all devoted to the best of 20th and 21st Century art. The additional New York sales will be conducted live and live-streamed from Christie’s Rockefeller Center galleries on October 6 and 7, 2020. This will be followed by exceptional auctions that celebrate two great cities, bringing together the collecting communities from London and Paris, opening with exhibitions on 6 October during London’s Frieze Week and continuing with Evening live and livestreamed events in both cities on 22 October, coinciding with FIAC in Paris.

The October New York sales will offer extraordinary examples of Impressionist, Modern, Post-War and Contemporary art, led by Paul Cézanne’s Nature morte avec pot au lait, melon et sucrier, a superlative watercolor still life from the collection of the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan. The still life, which dates to 1900-1906, was acquired by Edsel Ford in 1933. In the region of $25 million, Nature morte avec pot au lait, melon et sucrier is the finest watercolor by the artist to come to auction in over thirty years.

To launch the announcement of its new October 20th Century Week in New York, Christie’s will tour Cézanne’s Nature morte avec pot au lait, melon et sucrier to its galleries in Hong Kong and London in early September, with public viewings available as conditions allow. Nature morte avec pot au lait, melon et sucrier represents the apogee of Cézanne’s work in watercolor, and a defining moment in the commencement of Modernism as we now know it. The watercolor compositions created between 1900 and 1906 were the culmination of his lifelong study of painting and constitute the final flowering of his art. Standing at the precipice of abstraction, these works represent Cézanne’s most revolutionary body of work.

The history of this picture’s ownership is appropriately distinguished; from the fabled dealer Ambroise Vollard to Alexandre Berthier, the fourth and final Prince of Wagram, killed in the First World War, the watercolor eventually made its way to America in 1929, and in 1933 entered the esteemed family collection assembled by Edsel and Eleanor Ford. The painting occupied their collection until Eleanor’s death in 1976 when it was bequeathed to the private operating foundation that would become Edsel & Eleanor Ford House.

Paul Cézanne, Nature morte avec pot au lait, melon et sucrier, watercolor over pencil on paper, Painted in 1900-1906. In the region of $25 million. © Christie’s Images Ltd 2020.