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Sotheby's

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Sotheby’s was founded in London on March 11, 1744, when Samuel Baker auctioned “several Hundred scarce and valuable books” from the library of the Rt Hon Sir John Stanley for a few hundred pounds. The story of Sotheby’s expansion beyond books to include the best in fine and decorative arts and jewellery is also the story of the global auction market, defined by extraordinary moments that continue to capture the world’s attention.
Since 1744, Sotheby’s has distinguished itself as a leader in the auction world. Our auctions, conducted in the venerable salerooms in London and Paris, the museum-quality galleries of our headquarters in New York and the spirited environs of Hong Kong rivet audiences worldwide. Season after season, the depth and excellence of Sotheby’s offerings have produced watershed, record-breaking sales. Sotheby’s has been entrusted with the sale of many of the world's treasures, amongst them: Napoleon’s St Helena library, the Duchess of Windsor’s jewels, the Estate of Mrs Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Rembrandt’s Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer, Rubens’ Massacre of the Innocents, Picasso’s Garçon à la Pipe, Bacon’s Triptych, 1976, The Grand Ducal Collections of Baden, the Qianlong Yellow-Ground Famille-Rose Double-Gourd Vase, the 5,000-year-old Guennol Lioness, Giacometti’s L’Homme Qui Marche I, the Magna Carta, the first printing of the Declaration of Independence and The Martin Luther King Jr Collection.
Sotheby’s has long recognised that great works of art, as well as the collectors interested in consigning and acquiring them, inhabit the global sphere. We were the first international auction house to expand from London to New York in 1955, and the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong and the then–Soviet Union. Today we maintain 90 locations in 40 countries and we conduct 250 auctions each year in over 70 categories. In addition to our four principal salerooms, the company, recognising the potential in new markets, also conducts auctions in six other salerooms around the world, further expanding our global reach. Through BIDnow, clients can also watch all Sotheby’s auctions live online and place bids in real time, from anywhere in the world. And through the ever-enriching content on Sothebys.com, the oldest publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange (BID) continues to be fresh and current, while always mindful of its historic roots.
An unwavering commitment to the very highest level of quality remains the goal of one of the most storied names on the global business stage.
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Some works sold by Sotheby's

Ambrosius Benson - Madonna And Child

Ambrosius Benson - Madonna And Child

Attributed
Estimate:

Price:

Lot number: 101
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Attributed to Ambrosius Benson MADONNA AND CHILD LOMBARDY 1495-1550 BRUGES oil on panel 16 3/4 by 12 3/4 in.; 42.5 by 32.4 cm. Provenance Yves Georges Prade (1904-1992); Thence by descent. Catalogue Note The author of this tightly-drawn depiction of the Virgin nursing the Christ child would appear to be by an artist close to Ambrosius Benson, one of the leading figures in Bruges in the first half of the 16th century. Indeed, the beautifully modeled yet stylized features of the Virgin’’’’’’’’s face recall the Bruges school at large, but specifically a number of similar works associated with Benson’’’’’’’’s output circa 1530, for example a work recently rediscovered and sold in these rooms, 27 January 2016, lot 16. Benson's style evolved in Bruges amidst a highly developed and collaborative artistic environment. He is recorded there as early as 1518, when he entered Gerard David’’’’’’’’s studio, which served as the training ground and source of inspiration for a plethora of painters who formed part of a great generation of Bruges artists. Contemporaneously with his main competitor, Adriaen Isenbrandt, Benson rose to European prominence alongside a number of successful painters, including Jan Provost, Albrecht Cornelis and Lancelot Blondeel, among others. The composition of this specific Virgin and Child, in which the Christ Child wears a white garment and holds a sprig of flowers, appears to derive more closely from a group of works associated with Joos van Cleve and his workshop.1 Ultimately, though, the prime source for the figural group originates from Gerard David’’’’’’’’s Rest on the Flight Into Egypt (Museo del Prado, Madrid, inv. no. P02643). IRR examination of this panel (fig. 1) not only illustrates a beautiful and well-articulated preparatory underdrawing for the Virgin and Child, but also shows a looser reworking of the still-life elements in the lower right foreground. 1. See J. O. Hand, Joos van Cleve, New Haven 2004, pp. 176-177, cat. nos. 101.1-101.9.
Edward Hicks - American Penn's Treaty With The Indians

Edward Hicks - American Penn's Treaty With The Indians

Original
Estimate:

Price:

Lot number: 6012
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Edward Hicks (1780 - 1849) AMERICAN PENN'S TREATY WITH THE INDIANS Making History: Americana Week Highlights oil on canvas 24 by 30 in. Provenance Hirschl and Adler, New York, 1967; Eastern Foundation; Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Silver, Prints, Folk Art and Decorative Arts, January 23, 1993, sale 7640, lot 377. Catalogue Note He began by making a league with the American Indians which were his neighbors. This is the only treaty between those persons and the Christians which has not been sworn to, and which has not been broken.-Voltaire, from Dictionnaire Philosophique, 1764American Quakers have long held William Penn (1644-1718) in high esteem, often celebrating him as our first defender of liberty, as he established the colony of Pennsylvania as a haven for religious dissenters, and largely did so through peaceful negotiations with the local indigenous populations. It is thus not surprising that Edward Hicks, whose profession and passion often seemed in conflict with his religion, would depict Penn’’’’’’’’s most famous act numerous times on canvas. The painting depicts the meeting between Penn and the Lenape Indians, which Hicks captioned PENN’’’’’’’’S TREATY with the INDIANS, made 1681 with out an Oath, and never broken. The foundation of Religious and Civil LIBERTY in the U.S. of AMERICA. Penn, to whom Charles I had granted the sizable tract of land that would become Pennsylvania and Delaware, met with the Lenape under a majestic elm tree at Shackamaxon (now the Fishtown and Kensington areas of Philadelphia) and treated for peace. Or so the story goes.Historians have long debated the date of the meeting, with opinions varying as to either late 1682 or June of 1683, as well as whether the meeting even resulted in an actual treaty. Such a treaty has been referenced in the historical record for centuries and by descendants of both parties, although the specifics of any treaty however remain murky. Ultimately the tradition endured through words and pictures.Benjamin West was first to immortalize Penn’’’’’’’’s treaty with the Indians with his 1771 painting, commissioned by William Penn’’’’’’’’s son, Thomas. More than a generation later, Edward Hicks, a young, Anglican-born coach maker, likely drawing upon one of the several printed versions of West’’’’’’’’s painting, would execute his own vision of the historic event.Hicks was born in Bucks County in the midst of the American Revolution, and during the first few years of his life, his family would dissolve around him: his father, a Tory, would lose everything during the war and his mother died before his second birthday. He was informally adopted by family friends David and Elizabeth Twining. Young Hicks spent a dozen years living on the Twining farm, and it was there he was exposed to the teachings of the Society of Friends.At thirteen, Hicks was apprenticed to William and Henry Tomlinson, coach makers, where he learned the trade of coach painting. In his memoirs, Hicks reflected that this period of his life was unhappy and that he was “disgusted with [himself] and all [his] conduct.” After several years, his misery compelled him to return to the teachings of his childhood, and upon attending a few Quaker Meetings, Hicks felt rejuvenated. In 1803, he formally joined the Society and later that year he would marry Sarah Worstall, also a Quaker. The young couple settled in Newtown where Hicks started a successful ornamental painting business.Edward Hicks’’’’’’’’s passion for his newfound faith inspired him to take up the ministry; his congregation recorded him as a minister, and he began travelling throughout the area preaching. His ministerial duties, however, paid no salary, so Hicks continued in his ornamental painting to support his family. Before long, Hicks’’’’’’’’s love of painting nearly rivaled that of his preaching, and he expanded his work to include easel painting. Unfortunately, to some of his fellow Quakers, ornamental painting conflicted with the plain lifestyle proscribed by the Society. Hicks gave up this work and tried his hand at farming, but soon failed and returned to painting to support his growing family.This conflict between his artistry and his religion would persist, coming to a head in 1827 with a schism in the Society that resulted in the division of the faith into two sects: Orthodox Quakers and Hicksite Quakers. Orthodox Quakers leaned towards a more traditional, bible-based faith, while the Hicksites, named after Edward’’’’’’’’s cousin Elias Hicks (1748-1830), put more emphasis on the concept of Inner Light than on a specific set of teachings. The schism caused much anxiety in Hicks, and ultimately, he largely abandoned preaching in favor of painting, although it was already apparent that he had found on canvas a new pulpit.In the 1820s, Hicks began a series of paintings based on Isaiah 11:6:The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.Hicks would paint dozens of versions of his Peaceable Kingdom painting, each a little different, and many including identifiable background scenes, such as Virginia’’’’’’’’s Natural Bridge, but most often, a depiction of Penn’’’’’’’’s Treaty. The size of the Penn’’’’’’’’s Treaty vignette grew and finally, by the 1830s, Hicks began to produce paintings of Penn’’’’’’’’s Treaty itself, but in far fewer numbers than Peaceable Kingdom. In additional to a few privately owned versions, examples are in the collections of the National Gallery of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, State Museum of Pennsylvania, Mercer Museum of the Bucks County Historical Society and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.Although modeled after West’’’’’’’’s painting of the event, Hicks’’’’’’’’ depiction differs. At the center is William Penn, surrounded by his fellow Quakers, offering trade goods to the local Lenape people. In West’’’’’’’’s version, the background is filled with activity—the building of a colony—and the seated Lenape at front holds an unlit peace pipe while at his feet is a bow and a quiver of arrows, details which perhaps speak to a determination on the settlers’’’’’’’’ part and a wary hesitation on the natives’’’’’’’’. Hicks, however, alters the scene slightly, but in a noticeably positive way: the bow and arrows are missing (in some versions, including the present version), the pipe is lit and ready for use, and the settlement in the background is smaller and less imposing. Hicks’’’’’’’’s portrayal appears a true celebration of the treaty and of the Quaker who secured its peace.Beyond celebrating William Penn and his treaty, Hicks, the sign painter, used his works (which he created in quantities) to advertise his faith—to spread the word of Quakerism. In the surviving versions of Penn’’’’’’’’s Treaty, Hicks shows off the full range of his ornamental painting skills. In most, Hicks depicts the scene on canvas and a simple title on the frame itself, however in a few, including the version at the National Gallery and the present example, the artist includes a full caption on the canvas itself, much like a tavern or trade sign. After enduring a difficult childhood and living in his words, a wayward life, Edward Hicks found not one, but two callings, and would sadly find himself divided between them. He opted for painting, the practical pursuit that would allow him to support his family, but he never gave up on his other calling. Instead, through his canvases, he discovered a friendly way to resolve the conflict between his faith and his profession. More than that, it was his paintings, such as Peaceable Kingdom and Penn’’’’’’’’s Treaty, which offered redemption to the preacher he was not meant to be.
Tiziano Vecellio - The Madonna And Child

Tiziano Vecellio - The Madonna And Child

Follower -
Estimate:

Price:

Lot number: 401
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Follower of Tiziano Vecellio, called Titian THE MADONNA AND CHILD oil on panel 16 3/4 by 12 in.; 42.5 by 30.5 cm. Provenance Chester D. Tripp, Chicago; By whom given to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1957 (Inv. no. 57.31). Literature B.B. Fredericksen and F. Zeri, Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections, Cambridge 1972, pp. 202, 335, 609 (as from the studio of Titian); K. Baetjer, European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, by artists born in or after 1865, A Summary Catalogue, New York 1980, vol. I, pp. 185-86, vol. II, p. 120, reproduced (as Style of Titian); K. Baetjer, European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, by artists born in or after 1865, A Summary Catalogue, New York 1995, p. 80, reproduced (as Style of Titian); P. Joannides, Titian to 1518: the assumption of genius, New Haven 2001, p. 143, reproduced; M. Falomir, in Tiziano, exhibition catalogue, Madrid 2003, pp. 142, 350 (as by a follower of Titian).
Hieronymus Aken Van Bosch - The Fool's Ship

Hieronymus Aken Van Bosch - The Fool's Ship

Follower
Estimate:

Price:

Lot number: 1
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Follower of Hieronymous Bosch, circa 1545-50 THE FOOL'S SHIP oil on panel 14 3/8 by 11 in.; 36.5 by 28 cm. The fantastical and otherworldly imagery of Hieronymous Bosch has inspired generations of artists from the onset of the artist's career in the late fifteenth century. As evidenced in this whimsical early panel, executed only a few decades after the artist's death, the artist's iconographic inventions took immediate hold on the artistic community in the Low Countries, and with great lasting success. Indeed, dendrochronological analysis of the panel shows a likely usage sate of circa 1545-1550, thus making this picture a near contemporary example of Bosch's groundbreaking impact on the artistic landscape of Netherlandish painting.1 Here, the viewer is presented with an amalgam of traditional Dutch proverbs, all framed within the popular allegorical tale of the "Ship of Fools." The story, originating in Plato's Republic, tells of a ship hijacked from a meek captain by a group of deranged underlings. The ship drifts on a path to the unknown and without a skillful leader. The fable originally served as a cautionary warning towards blind allegiance to pure democracy, as well as a call to trust in specialized leadership. Bosch's illustration of the subject, now in the Musée du Louvre (fig. 1), serves as the artistic inspiration for the present work, which also employs Bosch's drawing of The Hell Ship (Vienna, Akademie der bildenden Künste, Kupferstichkabinett) as another point of departure. As in the current painting, the drawing includes the motif of an oversized man who carries the ship around his waist. A number of Dutch proverbs are cleverly illustrated throughout this composition. Among the most prominent is the open eye set into the top of the sail, meant to represent the saying "Een oogje in het zeil houden" ("Keep an eye on the sail"), or "be aware of your surroundings." This specific motif may have been directly inspired by a detail from Pieter Bruegel the Elder's 1559 masterpiece The Netherlandish Proverbs, which subtly incorporates this same adage into the background of the composition. 1. A copy of the report is available upon request. Fig. 1 Hieronymus Bosch, The Ship of Fools, oil on panel / Louvre, Paris, France / Bridgeman Images
Adam Van Noort - An Elegant Couple In An Interior

Adam Van Noort - An Elegant Couple In An Interior

Attributed
Estimate:

Price:

Lot number: 1
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Attributed to Adam van Noort AN ELEGANT COUPLE IN AN INTERIOR, ADMIRING A PAINTING ANTWERP 1561 - 1641 Pen and brown ink and wash 147 by 127 mm; 5 3/4 by 5 in. Provenance Charles Gasc, Paris (L.543); Louis de Gassi, Paris (L.1729); bears another unidentified and truncated collector's mark, lower left Catalogue Note The attribution to Rubens's teacher Adam van Noort was kindly suggested by Ger Luijten. Relatively few drawings by Van Noort are known, but the pivotal sheet in Rotterdam representing Minerva instructing Pictura, which is signed and dated 1598, shows considerable similarities of handling and facial types.1 A connection can also be made with a print by Gillis van Breen after Van Noort, which shows a very similar, elegant young couple walking through a landscape.2 1. Rotterdam, Boijmans van Beuningen Museum, inv. MB 1767; see Bosch to Bloemaert, Early Netherlandish Drawings in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, exh. cat., Paris, Fondation Custodia, Rotterdam & Washington D.C., 2014-15, no. 64 2. F.W.H. Hollstein, Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts c.1450-1700, vol. III, Amsterdam 1950, p. 204, no. 82
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current week's auction

Place Date Artworks Works at Auction
New-york
January 25, 2017
56
New-york
January 25, 2017
153
New-york
January 26, 2017
184
New-york
January 27, 2017
187
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