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Sotheby's

Sotheby's logo


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

Bruce Nauman - Maquette For 5 Foot 8 Inch Figure

Bruce Nauman - Maquette For 5 Foot 8 Inch Figure

Original 1998
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Lot number: 101
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Description:
Bruce Nauman B. 1941 MAQUETTE FOR 5 FOOT 8 INCH FIGURE stamped with the artist's name, dated 1998 and numbered 8/15 on the backside of the figure bronze and tuff-cal plaster 49.5 by 28.5 by 16.5 cm. 19 1/2 by 11 1/4 by 6 1/2 in. Executed in 1998, this work is number 8 from an edition of 15, plus 2 artist's proofs, plus 1 foundry proof, plus 1 publisher's proof. Colour: The colours in the catalogue illustration are fairly accurate, although the patina is slightly darker in the original. Condition: This work is in very good condition. Close inspection reveals a few faint handling marks, notably to the back of the figure, and a very small number of small chips to the edges base, which are likely to be original. All other surface irregularities appear to be inherent to the artist's choice of medium and working process.
 North-Italian School - Allegorical Figures Of Justice And Strength

North-Italian School - Allegorical Figures Of Justice And Strength

Original
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Lot number: 3
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Italie du Nord, XVIe siècle Allégories de la Justice et de la Force A PAIR OF NORTH ITALIAN 16TH CENTURY BRONZE ALLEGORICAL FIGURES OF JUSTICE AND STRENGTH, INSCRIBED L'EGGE AND L.FORZA Quantity: 2 intitulés L'EGGE et L. FORZA paire de putti en bronze à patine brune Haut. 25 cm ; height 9 3/4 in.
John William Waterhouse - Study For Circe Invidiosa

John William Waterhouse - Study For Circe Invidiosa

Original
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Lot number: 1
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John William Waterhouse, R.A., R.I. 1849-1917 STUDY FOR CIRCE INVIDIOSA charcoal and pencil 24 by 22cm., 9½ by 8½in. Read Condition Report Read Condition Report Register or Log-in to view condition report Or Saleroom Notice Provenance The artist's widow, Mrs Esther Waterhouse, by whom sold Christie's, 23 July 1926, 'The Remaining works of the Late J.W. Waterhouse, Esq., R.A.', part of lot 8 (with 20 other drawings), bought by Dr James Nicoll by whom gifted to the father of the present owner Catalogue Note This is a study for the head of the enchantress Circe in Waterhouse's painting of 1892 Circe Invidiosa (Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide), in which she is pouring a huge bowl of lurid green poison into the sea to transform her love-rival Scylla into a hideous monster.This drawing and the following two studies by Leighton and Waterhouse were in the collection of Dr James Nicoll, medical superintendent of the Fountain Hospital in Tooting. His obituary stated that ‘his principal interests were his collections of paintings and porcelain. He bought extensively and made a hobby of tracing the history of his best pieces, seeking documents authenticating each article.’’’’’’’’ (British Medical Journal, 7 February 1959) Fig. 1 John William Waterhouse, Circe Invidiosa See MoreSee Less Suggested Lots JUMP TO LOT Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art Lot No. Invalid Now Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art 14 July 2016 | 2:00 PM BSTLondon Buy Catalogue Contact Info Contact Info Simon Toll Director
Robert I Peake - A Portrait Of Two Sisters, Probably Anne Of Denmark And Her Sister Elizabeth

Robert I Peake - A Portrait Of Two Sisters, Probably Anne Of Denmark And Her Sister Elizabeth

Circle
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Lot number: 110
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Circle of Robert Peake the Elder A PORTRAIT OF TWO SISTERS, PROBABLY ANNE OF DENMARK AND HER SISTER ELIZABETH oil on oak panel 87.9 x 116.5 cm.; 34 5/8 x 46 in Notice Provenance Anonymous sale ('The Property of a Deceased Estate'), London, Sotheby's, 9 April 1997, lot 12, where acquired. Catalogue Note This intriguing portrait is believed to represent Anne of Denmark (1574–1619) on the right, and her sister, Princess Elisabeth (1573–1626), the two eldest daughters of Frederick II of Denmark (1559–88). Elisabeth was betrothed to Heinrich Julius, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. In 1589 Anne married James VI of Scotland, later James I of England, and had three children: Henry, Prince of Wales (1594–1612); Elizabeth (1596–1662), who married Frederick V, Elector Palatine, later King of Bohemia; and Charles, later Charles I of England (1600–49). One of the most remarkable aspects of this double portrait is the almost identical costume worn by the sisters. Their deep black dresses are not a sign of mourning, but an illustration of their wealth, since the dyes required for such an intense, fast colour were very expensive, having reached Europe from the Spanish conquests in the New World. The quantity of this luxurious fabric is also significant. The sisters both wear 'wheel farthingales' – a series of hoops fastened around the hips to widen the skirt – over which the material is pleated into numerous flounces. Anne favoured this fashion until her death, insisting that farthingales were worn at court despite waning popularity and objections even from James I himself. In 1617, the Venetian Ambassador observed that she wore ‘so expansive a farthingale that I do not exaggerate when I say it was four feet wide in the hips…’’’’’’’’.1 The elegant lace which abounds on both dresses is also a reflection of the sisters’’’’’’’’ means and taste, not to mention the innumerable pearls – Anne’’’’’’’’s jewels of preference amongst her extensive collection.2 Notable too are the barred ‘S’’’’’’’’ earrings worn by the sitters. ‘S’’’’’’’’s are found in other jewels of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, commonly signifying constancy in love.3 Here, however, the ‘S’’’’’’’’ is more likely a reference to the sisters' mother, Sophie of Mecklenburg (1557–1631). Anne is portrayed wearing both an ‘S’’’’’’’’-form jewel and one shaped into the monogram ‘C4’’’’’’’’ – a gift from her brother King Christian IV of Denmark – in several portraits, exhibiting her noble bloodline beyond her position as Queen Consort in England.4 The portrayal of two sisters in a single painting is unusual but not without precedent in this ‘Jacobethan’’’’’’’’ period. A double portrait at Longleat House, Wiltshire, of about 1581, is believed to depict Dorothy and Penelope Devereux, famous beauties in the court of Elizabeth I, who share a remarkable likeness;5 and a painting in the collection of Viscount de L’’’’’’’’Isle, Penshurt Place, dated 1612, is thought to picture Lady Mary Wroth and her sister.6 The present work would appear to fall somewhere between these two works, around the last decade of the sixteenth century – a date which would also tally with the apparent ages of the presumed sitters. The intimacy of the sisters' gestures here is reminiscent of one of the most well-known sororal double portraits – that believed to portray Gabrielle d’’’’’’’’Estrées and one of her sisters, represented naked in a bath, by the Fontainebleau School, circa 1594 (Musée du Louvre, Paris).7 The matching dresses worn by the sisters here likewise reflect a mutual, affectionate closeness. In this way, the portrait may also be compared to the enigmatic Cholmondeley Ladies (Tate, London), circa 1600–10, in which the sitters' striking resemblance signifies their shared bond of having been born, married and 'brought to Bed the same day', according to a later inscription on the painting.8 As with that portrait, the attachment between the sisters here is counterbalanced by a certain remoteness, typifying the focus of Elizabethan portraiture on the symbols of status and identity, rather than psychological insight – and it is precisely this synthesis that generates the iconic and memorable impact of this work. 1. 'Venice: December 1617, 16–30', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, vol. 15, 1617–19, A. B. Hinds (ed.), London 1909, pp. 75–89.2. As well as inheriting jewels from Tudor and Stuart royalty, Anne appointed Edinburgh jeweller George Heriot her goldsmith in 1597. He provided her with jewels totalling £40,000 – equivalent to £3.9 million today. See D. Scarisbrick, 'Anne of Denmark’’’’’’’’s jewellery inventory', in Archaeologia, vol. 109, 1991, pp. 193–237.3. See, for example, the portrait by Paul van Somer of Sir Gilbert Houghton, wearing an earring with a jewelled 'S' hung with a wounded heart, in D. Scarisbrick, Jewels in Britain 1066–1837, Norwich 1994, p. 121, reproduced p. 120, plate 48.4. See, for example, the panel attributed to Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger (Royal Collection, inv. no. RCIN 404437), in A. Reynolds, In fine style. The art of Tudor and Stuart fashion, London 2013, p. 42, reproduced in colour figs 1 and 28; and the miniature by Isaac Oliver (Royal Collection, inv. no. RCIN 420041), in G. Reynolds, The Sixteenth & Seventeenth Century Miniatures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, London 1999, cat. no. 53, reproduced.5. See M. Margetts, 'Lady Penelope Rich: Hilliard’’’’’’’’s lost miniatures and a surviving portrait', The Burlington Magazine, vol. CXXX, no. 1027, October 1988, pp. 759–60, reproduced p. 759, fig. 49.6. See E. Waterhouse, The Dictionary of 16th & 17th Century British Painters, Woodbridge 1988, reproduced p. 105 (as Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, titled 'Barbara Gamage, Countess of Leicester, and her eldest daughter Lady Mary Wroth').7. Inv. no. R.F.1937-1; see J.-J. Lévêque, L’’’’’’’’Ecole de Fontainebleau, Neuchâtel 1984, p. 132, reproduced in colour pp. 136-37.8. Inv. no. T00069; see J.T. Hopkins, ‘'Such a Twin Likeness there was in the Pair': An Investigation into the Painting of the Cholmondeley Sisters’’’’’’’’, in Transactions of the Historical Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, vol. 141, 1991/92, pp. 1–37, reproduced in colour. See MoreSee Less Suggested Lots JUMP TO LOT Old Masters Day Sale Lot No. Invalid Now Old Masters Day Sale 07 July 2016 | 10:30 AM BSTLondon Buy Catalogue Contact Info Contact Info Andrew Fletcher Senior Director
Tom Wesselmann - Seascape Portfolio

Tom Wesselmann - Seascape Portfolio

Original 1978
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Lot number: 1
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Tom Wesselmann 1931-2004 SEASCAPE PORTFOLIO the complete set of five hand-colored and hand-embossed pochoirs with pencil additions, each signed in pencil, also initialed on the justification page, dated, numbered 14/20, on Arches wove paper, framed, 1978 (5 prints) images each approximately: 6 1/8 by 6 3/4 in. (15.5 by 17.3 cm.) sheets each approximately: 10 by 11 1/4 in. (25.5 by 28.5 cm.)
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