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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Dorotheum Vienna Third Auction Week of 2008

Autumnal motifs will be a recurring theme at the Dorotheum Vienna’s third auction week of 2008. Taking place from 14th to 17th of October, it celebrates the beginning of the autumn auction season with a wide selection of old master paintings, 19th century paintings, works of art (sculptures, glass and porcelain, silver), and jewellery.

Bountiful Harvest

Still lifes are especially suited for the presentation of fruit and table decoration while at the same time allowing the painter to display the verisimilitude and sophistication of their artistic methods. The old masters auction, to be held at the Vienna Dorotheum on 14th of October 2008, features one of the finest such paintings by Willem Kalf, considered by many experts to be the foremost painter of still lifes during the Dutch ‘golden age’. His Still Life with ginger pot and small porcelain bowl demonstrates his mastery of “breathtaking compositions defined by chiaroscuro effects and the inventive use of light reflections on metal and glass…”, to quote the description in the catalogue of last year’s exhibition „Gemaltes Licht“ (Painted Light) at Aachen. A Dorotheum expert’s report goes on to state that still lifes by Kalf of such stupendous museum quality are a true rarity in today’s art market. One version of this painting is currently in the collection of the Louvre.

Although the title of another major painting is associated with summer, the image itself with its abundant fruit may as easily remind one of autumn. Bartolomeo Bimbi (Settignano, Florence 1648 – 1729 Florence), and his studio, created the two ‘month’ still lifes with pears, representing July and August. The two paintings are representative of the still lifes of fruit by Bimbi, who was particularly highly thought of at the Medici court; his most important commissions came from Cosimo III. Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (€ 250.000 – 350.000).

Bountiful splendour can also be found in Abraham Brueghel’s (Antwerp 1631 – 1690 Naples) two monumental still lifes with fruit and flowers (€ 260.000 – 320.000). Abraham Brueghel, one of the most distinguished Roman painters of the second half of the 17th century, had the rare ability to anticipate the new Baroque tastes of the emerging generation. No end of fruit: among the old master drawings, Giovanna Garzoni’s (Ascoli Piceno 1600 – 1670 Rome) Still Life with apples and nuts, tempera on vellum, simply stands out (€ 20.000 – 24.000); comparable works by this artist have reached sensational sales prices at past Dorotheum auctions.

Luca Giordano (1634 – 1705), himself a figure of considerable stature, adds another course to the auction’s visual feast: His painting shows a scene from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, depicting Cecrop’s curious daughters breaking their promise and opening a hamper containing Erechteus, Athena’s disfigured child, who was born with serpentine legs (€ 120.000 – 160.000). Additional famous names at this old masters auction include Bernardo Canal, Gian Paolo Panini, Annibale Carracci, and Giovanni di Tano.

Paintings for all seasons

The auction of 19th century paintings on 15th of October 2008 is headed by an icon of the Biedermeier Period, Friedrich von Amerling’s famous Girl with Straw Hat („Mädchen mit Strohhut“, 1835), since 1939 at to the Austrian Galleries at the Belvedere and now entrusted to the Dorotheum for auction purposes by the heirs of Ernst Gotthilf. The architect Ernst von Gotthilf designed several well-known Viennese buildings, such as the Bankverein Building (Creditanstalt) on Schottenring, or the Palais Fanto (see also the attached detailed catalogue text; the six-figure valuation will be announced at the time of publication of the catalogue). A second painting likewise comes from the Belvedere Collection, Moritz Michael Daffinger’s Portrait of the actor Joseph Koberwein in the role of Duke Alfons in Goethe’s Torquato Tasso (€ 30.000 – 45.000).

The auction, in fact, features several important Austrian paintings of the 19th century – such as Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller’s Sandling Mountain near Altaussee („Der Sandling bei Altaussee“ € 80.000 – 120.000), or Emil Jakob Schindler’s enchanting View of the San Giacomo Monastery near Ragusa („Blick auf das Kloster San Giacomo bei Ragusa“ € 30.000 – 40.000) – as well as examples of Russian painting, Orientalist paintings, and views of Venice. It also presents Oswald Achenbach’s romantic Evening Mood descending over the Roman Campagna („Abendstimmung über der römischen Campagna“ (€ 80.000 – 120.000), and several masterly drawings by Giovanni Boldini.

Radiating warmth

Beyond ensuring the comforts of a warm room during the cold season, the tiled stoves offered at the Dorotheum’s antique auction on 16th October 2008 are also exceptionally decorative in style. For example a tin-white original Biedermeier stove and another with tempietto, decorated with moulded scenes depicting the four seasons (each € 16.000 – 25.000). Once used to serve hot soup, a lidded tureen from the Du Paquier manufactory (ca. 1725) today serves to warm the cockles of a collector’s heart (€ 20.000 – 35.000). Lighting up the shortening daylight hours of the season will be a glass salon chandelier (Vienna ca. 1800, € 12.000 – 20.000); for those more romantically inclined, the silver category offers a Victorian six-flame gilt silver centrepiece from London (€ 20.000 – 30.000).

Worthy of any museum, the sculpture category presents a terracotta Holy Couple, attributed to Giovanni della Robbia. Created around 1510, the 125 cm tall figures of SS Clara and Francis are distinguished by their exceptionally fine lines and perfect state of preservation (€ 240.000 – 260.000). Similarly, a carved limewood figure of St Barbara, Franconia circa 1480 – 1500, will quicken many a collector’s heart (€ 120.000 – 140.000). The furniture selection on this occasion offers a wide range of objects from the Bellini Collection at Villa Marignolle (Florence) and Monte Carlo.

Diamonds are forever

Diamond classically know no season and seem impervious to trends. Two rings presented at the jewellery auction on 17th October 2008 deserve particular mention: a white-gold ring set with brilliants, the main stone weighing in at over 10 carat (€ 60.000 – 90.000), and a white-gold ring set with emerald-cut diamonds (€ 55.000 – 80.000). The bridges of Venice provided the inspiration for an unusual yellow-gold bangle, „Ponte“, crowned by an aquamarine and created for an exhibition held in Venice in 1993 (€ 8.000 – 12.000).

Finally, the jewellery auction also has to offer an emotionally charged sensation: The gold charm bracelet of Romy Schneider, later sold to the lady director of Vienna’s Sacher Hotel, when Romy Schneider moved to Paris in the late nineteen-fifties. The bracelet comes with charms in the form of a carriage or a ‘Sisi’ dedication – the movie part that catapulted the actress to fame at the early age of seventeen (€ 2.500 – 3.500).

3rd Auction Week:
Old Master Paintings, 14 October 2008
19th Century Paintings, 15 October 2008
Works of Art (Sculpture, Silver, Glass, Porcelain, Furniture)
16 October 2008
Jewellery, 17 October 2008
Public Viewing:
from 4 October 2008
Palais Dorotheum, Wien 1, Dorotheergasse 17

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