Artnet has a report by Paul Jeromack:
- Franz Francken, Mankind’s Eternal Dilemma – The Choice Between Virtue and Vice, has just been acquired by the MFA from London dealer Johnny Van Haeften for $12 million — a record for both the artist and an Old Master painting bought by the institution. The buyer who bought the picture for the museum is Edward Johnson III, known as “Ned,” who is a co-owner of Fidelity Investments and a scion of Boston’s Perkins family. Van Haeften paid a record price of €7,022,300 ($9,458,152) for the picture. Van Haeften had shown it at TEFAF last year with an asking price of $14 million.
Colin Gleadell gets these detailed sales:
- London portrait dealer Mark Weiss recently discovered a lost portrait of Henry VIII in France, which sold on the opening day for £2.5 million.
- London and Munich dealer Konrad Bernheimer presented a Rubens painting of a Crucifixion, last sold in 1976 for £20,000, which he sold for approximately €3.5 million to Boston-based collectors Eijk and Rose-Marie van Otterloo.
- Antiquities dealer Rupert Wace sold an 18th-dynasty Egyptian painted limestone relief of Queen Hatshepsut for close to the €680,000 asking price.
- Richters galore line the walls at San Francisco dealer Anthony Meier’s stand, including a mystical 1987 landscape, “Kleine Strasse,” which sold for just shy of its $5.7 million asking price (along with a second Richter priced around $2.5 million) within the first half hour of the preview, via an intermediary who negotiated the sale by telephone. (The same work sold in 2008 for $4,546,533 at Christie’s London.)
Tomasso Brothers were rewarded for their first outing to Maastricht with these sales:
Tomasso Brothers Fine Art, exhibiting at TEFAF Maastricht (16 to 25 March 2012) for the first time, was delighted to sell a recently published relief portrait of King Ferrante of Naples by the Florentine sculptor Gregorio di Lorenzo (c.1436-c.1504) to a European private collector during the preview on 15 March 2012. (asking price €350,000)
Gregorio di Lorenzo has only recently been identified as the anonymous sculptor known as ‘the Master of the Marble Madonnas’. In 1455 he was a member of the sculptor Desiderio da Settignano’s workshop in Florence, and in 1461-62 he was commissioned by the Medici to carve the marble lavabo in the sacristy of the Badia at Fiesole. However, he appears to have been active primarily outside Florence, as is attested by the large number of his works in the Romagna and Marche regions as well as in Hungary, where he worked at the court of King Matthias Corvinus for several years.
On Saturday 17 March, sales included a rare equestrian bronze portrait of ‘The Sun King’, Louis XIV of France, attributed to Etienne Le Hongre (1628-1690), which almost certainly belonged to the most famous art dealer of all time, Lord Duveen of Millbank (1869-1939), and was later in the collection of his daughter, the Hon. Mrs Dorothy Rose Burns (1903-1985). This handsome desk bronze, with its translucent golden-red patina, appears to be unrecorded so is possibly unique. It sold to a European private collector, a new client for Tomasso Brothers Fine Art. (asking price in the region of €200,000)
More sales from TEFAF’s dealers:
- Tournabuoni Art sold a pair of Lucio Fontanas (above) for €5m from their mini-retrospective on the stand.
- Moretti Fine Art: a terracotta figure of a lion, dating from around 1715, by Giovan Battista Foggini (Florence, 1652-1725), which is the centrepiece of the stand. Almost certainly a model produced by this great Tuscan sculptor for a commemorative monument to England’s Queen Anne, it has been the subject of much admiration and sold to a European private collector. (asking price in the region of €400,000)
Scott Reyburn has a list of TEFAF sales from the opening of the fair late last week on Bloomberg:
- Christophe van de Weghe sold Andy Warhol’s 1975 silkscreen drag-queen study “Ladies and Gentleman,” priced at 1.7 million euros ($2.2 million), to a German collector. A 1965 Alexander Calder hanging mobile, “Untitled,” tagged at 1.2 million euros
- Noortman Master Paintings of Amsterdam: Sold a signed and dated 1730 mahogany panel painting “Flowers in a Terracotta Vase” by Jan Van Huysum to a European collector, priced at 4.8 million euros.
- Anthony Meier sold the 1987 Gerhard Richter landscape “Kleine Strasse (629-3)” to a European collector. The photo-based canvas, showing a deserted country road flanked by trees, was priced at about $5 million.
- Gisele Croes, who sold eight Chinese pieces within the first three hours of the preview, ranging in price from 180,000 euros to 650,000 euros [In her report, Carol Vogel describes the $180k work as a scholar’s rock.]
- Daniel Blau: Dating from the 1950s and influenced by contemporary advertising, these line drawings had been found in the Andy Warhol Foundation. Blau sold 20 of the cache of 50 on the opening night for prices ranging from 20,000 euros to 60,000 euros to buyers that included a Hong Kong Chinese. The booth was re-hung with a new selection the following day.
- Haunch of Venison: sold a 2012 drawing of writhing figures by the Iraq- born Ahmed Alsoudani to a U.S. collector for $65,000.
- Axel Vervoodt reported 15 sales in the first two days, including an impressive, action painting by Japanese artist Kazuo Shiraga of the influential Gutai group for €950,000.
- Ben Jannsens reported 40 sales between €3,000 and $500,000.
Carol Vogel gathered some additional sales:
- a ruby and pearl brooch by Salvador Dalí in the form of Marilyn Monroe’s lips, for $45,00
- Rupert Wace: an Egyptian limestone relief carved with the head of Queen Hatshepsut (€400,000, or $530,000); Etruscan diadem to the Mougins Museum of Classical Art (exceeding €100,000.)
- Philippe Perrin: a terra-cotta figure of a young woman inscribed with the famous name Clodion, as the 18th-century Claude Michel signed himself (€200,000).
- Daniel Katz: a wooden head of Jesus carved around the late 15th century, possibly in Flanders (£75,000, or $120,000); head of a screaming man molded around 1836 by François Rude (€160,000); two smiling figures, originally conceived in 1857 and 1863 by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, were carved in marble in 1873. Signed and dated, they were included that same year in the historic Carpeaux sale held at the Hôtel Drouot. (€2.6 million)
- Patrick Derom: abstract composition by Sonia Delaunay (€100,000)
- William Noortman: said that he sold to an East Coast collector a still life of peaches painted by Adriaen Coorte in the early 1690s. Mr. Noortman, who acquired it at Bonhams last month, said he could have sold it several times despite a €3.2 million asking price.
- Roman Herzig: a Hubert Robert view of a ruined Roman construction (€350,000)
Calvin Klein Browses $1.3bn Fair, Warhol Drag Queen Sells (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)
You Need a Rubens? Sorry, Sold. (New York Times)
The Message of a European Fine Art Fair (New York Times)