Sotheby’s New York Fine European Furniture Auction Highlights

Among the leading works in the spring sale of Fine European Furniture Including Tapestries, Silver, Ceramics and Carpets Lodewijk van Schoor (est. $120/150,000). The tapestry features the arms of Don Zenón de Somodevilla y Bengoechea (1702-1781), a self-made statesman of the Enlightenment who rose through the ranks of the Spanish Navy and was appointed Prime Minister. The design of the tapestry is specifically Naval, with armor, cannons and navigation instruments, including a globe showing Spain prominently. Also featured is a Pair of Magnificent German Baroque Giltwood Frames, Made for the Portraits of Prince Johann Wilhelm Joseph Von der Pfalz and Princess Anna Maria Luisa dei Medici (est. $80/120,000). Though previously believed to be Italian, the lavishly decorated pair of frames was most likely manufactured in the Rhineland in Germany. Works from Russia include a Fine Russian Neoclassical Ormolu, Brass and Alabaster-Mounted Mahogany Secrétaire à Abattant, circle of Heinrich Gambs, circa 1800 (est. $30/50,000) and a Set of Ten Russian Neoclassical Parcel-Gilt Mahogany Dining Chairs, Four with the Inventory Labels of the Peterhof Palace, One with the Inventory Marks of the Bolshoi Palace, first quarter 19th century (est. $15/25,000). is An Important Brussels Armorial Tapestry Portiere, Woven in the Van der Borcht Workshop after a design by PHOTOGRAPHS Exhibition opens: 8 April 13 April 2010

In this spring’s sale, Sotheby’s will offer at auction a remarkable selection of Photographs that ranges from examples of some of the earliest photographs made in America, to masterpieces of the modernist aesthetic in photography and beyond. The 244 lot sale is estimated to fetch $3.4/5.1 million. The auction’s top lot is Edward Weston’s iconic study of a single Nautilus Shell ($300/500,000). This print was purchased in 1927, the year the picture was taken, at San Francisco’s East West Galleries for $10 by a young photographer named Bernice Lovett. Unable to pay the entire cost of the photograph at once, Ms. Lovett paid for it in monthly 50-cent installments. The image has, in the intervening years, become one of Weston’s most celebrated and is now regarded as one of the great modernist photographs of all time. The print offered by Sotheby’s is the ideal early state of the image, on matte-surface photographic paper, affixed to a large mount that bears Weston’s early penciled signature. This print has remained in the collection of Ms. Lovett’s family since its original purchase over 80 years ago. It has never before appeared on the market.