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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

Edward Coley Burne-Jones - Study For The Sirens

Edward Coley Burne-Jones - Study For The Sirens

After
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Gross Price
Lot number: 1
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt., A.R.A., R.W.S. STUDY FOR THE SIRENS 1833-1898 black and white chalk on cream paper, squared 50 by 70cm., 19½ by 27½in. Christie\\\’s, London, 5 June 1919, 'Remaining Works of the Late Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Bart sold by his Executors', lot 152; Gooden & Fox, London; Acquired by William Butler Yeats of 82 Merrion Square, Dublin in the 1920s and thence by descent Burne-Jones was fascinated by the legend of the sirens and for many years considered painting the subject. In 1872 the theme was one of four that he most desired to paint, but twenty years later he was still pontificating about how to depict it; \\\‘I am making a plan for a picture that will not be very big and will need to be very pretty\\\’ he wrote in a letter \\\‘It is a sort of Siren-land – I don\\\’t know when or where – not Greek Sirens, but any Sirens, anywhere, that lure on men to destruction. There will be a shore full of them, looking out from rocks and crannies in the rocks at a boat full of armed men, and the time will be sunset. The men shall look at the women and the women at the men, but what happens next is more than I care to tell\\\’ (Georgiana Burne-Jones, Memorials of Edward Burne-Jones, 1904, p.308). A finished painting had been promised to Frederick Leyland, the shipping magnate and Pre-Raphaelite collector. In about 1891 Burne-Jones wrote to him; \\\‘I want to show you the design as far as I have gone, of the Sirens. It is very rough, only a scheme, but you can tell sufficiently, I think. I have made two. One is that little black invention almost literally enlarged, and the other is a variation upon it\\\’. The present sketch may be one of the designs referenced in the letter, although the squaring suggests that it was made late in the preparation of the painting when the design was being transferred to the canvas. There are two large coloured pastel versions of The Sirens (National Gallery of South Africa, Capetown and in a private collection) and an alternative gouache design (offered in these rooms, 28 November 2002, lot 26). Many exquisite pencil studies for the heads of the Sirens are in various collections (including Birmingham City Art Gallery). The oil painting The Sirens (The Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota) was not finished before Leyland\\\’s death but is one of Burne-Jones' most powerful designs. This drawing was in the collection of the poet William Butler Yeats and is probably the one referenced in a letter from him dated 14 December 1940 in which he described a needle-work being worked upon by his sister Lily; 'She has just done a silk and wool design after a Burne Jones drawing of a Burne Jones ship' (Bonhams, 4 November 2008, lot 367).
Adriaen De Vries - Hercules Saving Deianira From The Centaur Nessus

Adriaen De Vries - Hercules Saving Deianira From The Centaur Nessus

Studio
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Lot number: 1
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
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After a model by Adriaen de Vries (circa 1556-1626) French, 19th century HERCULES SAVING DEIANIRA FROM THE CENTAUR NESSUS bronze, dark brown patina 81 by 48cm., 31 7/8 by 18 7/8 in. Catalogue Note This spiralling bronze is cast after an original model by Adriaen the Vries, the Northern Mannerist sculptor famous for his dynamic models. A gift of Louis XIV to the Grand Dauphin, it is now in the Louvre (inv. no. OA5424). De Vries was active in several European cities including Milan, Prague and Augsburg, but he began his career in the studio of Giambologna. Giambologna's influence is visible in the present group; compare his famous group of the Rape of a Sabine.
Pat Steir - Untitled

Pat Steir - Untitled

Original 1995
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Price: Not disclosed
Lot number: 301
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Description: oil on canvas; signed, dated ''95' and inscribed 'Tom's Ptg. To Tom with Love + Admiration Pat' Dimensions: 24 by 24 in. (61 by 61 cm.) Condition Report: This work is in excellent condition overall. There is an area of pigment separation in the upper right quadrant, visible upon close inspection. There are tonal and textural shifts to the surface, inherent to the nature of the medium and the artist's working method. Under Ultraviolet light inspection there is no evidence of restoration. Unframed. The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. Lot: 301: PAT STEIR (B. 1938) | Untitled, 1995
 Anonymous - Lunar Photograph, Executed Ca. 1855

Anonymous - Lunar Photograph, Executed Ca. 1855

1855
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Lot number: 1
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
LUNAR PHOTOGRAPH, EXECUTED CA. 1855 Albumen print, 5 1/2 by 4 1/4 inches, mounted on paper within an ink-ruled border. Provenance Ex Ewen Whitaker, lunar scientist and astronomer Catalogue Note An early lunar photograph depicting the moon at 20 days. Warren De La Rue was a pioneering British astronomer and chemist who made great contributions to the field of astrophotography. La Rue began his photographic experiments in 1853, continuing his investigations into celestial photography throughout the 1860s, while simultaneously publishing and lecturing on the subject.
Saul Leiter - Bus, New York

Saul Leiter - Bus, New York

Original 1954
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Price: Not disclosed
Lot number: 2
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Saul Leiter (1923 - 2013) Lot 2: SAUL LEITER (1923-2013) | Bus, New York Description: Chromogenic print, signed and with edition '9/10' in ink, on the reverse, unframed, 1954, printed later; accompanied by a label from Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto (2) Dimensions: image: 19 1/2 by 12 7/8 in. (49.5 by 32.7 cm.)
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