Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Upcoming Auctions Winter 2017

WASHINGTON (AFP).- Adolf Hitler's personal telephone, which the Fuehrer used to dictate many of his deadly World War II commands, will hit the auction block this weekend, the US house selling it announced.

Originally a black Bakelite phone that was later painted crimson and engraved with Hitler's name, the relic was found in the Nazi leader's Berlin bunker in 1945 following the regime's defeat.

Auction house Alexander Historical Auctions estimates its worth between $200,000 and $300,000.

On Sunday, the company, located in the eastern US coastal state of Maryland, will auction off more than a thousand items -- including the Siemens rotary telephone embossed with a swastika and the eagle symbolic of the Third Reich.

Alexander House dubbed the phone -- which Hitler received from the Wehrmacht, Nazi Germany's armed forces -- as "arguably the most destructive 'weapon' of all time, which sent millions to their deaths."

It said Hitler used it to give most of his orders during the last two years of World War II.

Russian officers gifted the device to British Brigadier Sir Ralph Rayner during a tour of the bunker shortly after Germany's surrender.

Rayner's son inherited the phone and is selling it, its paint now peeling to reveal its original synthetic black resin surface.

Andreas Kornfeld of Alexander House told AFP estimates are set based on a number of factors, including "rarity and uniqueness," with the expectation that sale prices will exceed opening bids.

"It would be impossible to find a more impactful relic than the primary tool used by the most evil man in history," the auction house said in a statement. "This was not a staid office telephone."

"This was Hitler's mobile device of destruction."


2. LONDON.- Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction on 8 March will be led by Untitled (One Eyed Man or Xerox Face), one of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s finest full-length male figures from his series of grand-scale paintings that took the art world by storm in the early 1980s.

Now estimated at £14-18 million, Untitled (One Eyed Man or Xerox Face) last appeared at auction in 1987, the year before the artist’s death, when it sold for $23,100. This was among the highest prices ever paid for the artist at the time.

Basquiat’s heroic male figures, always depicted with both arms raised aloft, and often shown with a studded halo or roughly pronged crown, formed the centrepiece of almost all the artist’s most important early works. Often based on the black athletes whose prowess allowed them to transcend racial boundaries in mid-20th century America, these figures were of huge personal importance to the artist. As a young black man raised in a middle-class family in Brooklyn, he readily felt the effects of racial segregation in art history: “I realised that I didn’t see many paintings with black people in them”.

Alex Branczik, Head of Contemporary Art, Sotheby’s Europe: ““The hero figures in Basquiat’s paintings refer to the stars of sporting, musical and artistic worlds who, thanks to their extraordinary talents, transcended their social status to become the nation’s icons. Painted with their arms held aloft and wearing a crown of thorns they also reflect Basquiat’s own dramatic ascent from street artist to gallery sensation, and to his present status as one of the most valuable and talked about artists in the world.”

Dating from 1982, Untitled (One Eyed Man or Xerox Face) is painted with the unbridled confidence and conviction of an artist at the zenith of his career. This was the moment when, as the prodigy of the painterly elite, he had become a dominant force in the international art world. His breakthrough had come a year before with the renowned New York/New Wave show at the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Centre. In 1982 he was the subject of six solo shows and became the youngest artist ever privileged with an invitation to exhibit in documenta 7 alongside the likes of Gerhard Richter, Joseph Beuys, Cy Twombly and Andy Warhol. Looking back on this astonishing year, Basquiat recalled “I made the best paintings ever.”


3. PARIS - Sotheby’s to Sell Picasso from Paris During the War

Sotheby’s has a big sale brewing in London this Winter. The auction house announced a £35m Klimt to follow up on the private sales of the artist’s work. There are also a £10-15m Modigliani, £7-10m Gauguin and four Picassos in the sale. One of the Picassos is this painting of a tomato plant that carries a £10-15m estimate.

Here’s how the auction house described the painting:

Symbolic of victory in Europe, Picasso’s paintings of the tomato plant in bloom in the apartment he shared with his lover Marie-Thérèse are ripe with personal as well as wider political and cultural significance – a way ofreflecting the spirit of hope and resilience that characterised this time. The most complex and visually striking example from the most sought-after series of the war period, Plant de tomate has been in a private collection for four decades.

In the summer of 1944, in the weeks before the Liberation of Paris from the Nazis by the Allied Forces, Picasso began to take notice of the potted tomato plant that was growing besides the window of the apartment. These were not uncommon in civilian households throughout Europe at a time when food rations limited the amount of available produce for consumption. Seeing the lush and fertile plant as a sign of hope as it continued to bear fruit, Picasso painted five canvases of the plant on a window sill between August 3 and August 12, 1944 – varying in degrees of abstraction. The background view outside the window is painted with varying shades of yellow and grey, calling to mind the smoke and gunfire that could be heard throughout the city during these frightening last weeks of the war. Rarely has Picasso invested a still-life with such meaning and sociological importance. Picasso’s art was blacklisted by the Nazi regime and the paintings that he completed during this period remained in his studio – only to be exhibited after the war.


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