from a Renaissance drawing unseen for a century to a work by the eminent Malian photographer


Fra Bartolommeo, Headshot of young woman, looking down to the left (1490s)

Old Master Drawings evening sale, Sotheby’s, New York, January 26

Estimate: $ 400,000 to $ 600,000

This sensitive study of a young woman, in black chalk heightened with white and probably carried out from nature, was intended to serve as a basis for a Madonna. It is believed to be a particularly early work by Fra Bartolommeo, made before he became a monk, as scholar Chris Fischer recently confirmed. The 26cm by 20cm design was last seen in public in 1927, when it was purchased by the grandfather of the current owner at a sale in Amsterdam for the substantial sum of 892.50 guilders . Greg Rubinstein, head of antique designs at Sotheby’s, says that while he expects it to sell for over $ 400,000, beautiful early Renaissance designs like this so rarely arrive on the market. market that it is very difficult to assign a precise value to them. He describes it as “a classic Renaissance image, with all the contemplative beauty and the softness of the chalk handling that one might see in a Leonardo, but with a touch of firmness and power, and mastery of the outline. , which characterizes the artists of the previous generation, such as Botticelli and Fra Bartolommeo.

Angel Gabriel Cast Copper Flying Weather Vane, Attributed to JW Fiske (circa 1890) Courtesy of Christie’s

Angel Gabriel Cast Copper Flying Weather Vane, Attributed to JW Fiske (circa 1890)

The Collection of Peter and Barbara Goodman, Christie’s, New York, January 20

Estimate: $ 60,000- $ 90,000

This weather vane, depicting the Angel Gabriel wearing a puffy robe and blowing a horn to announce the Lord’s return to earth, is said to have been modeled on an 1893 drawing published by the American decorative ironwork maker JW Fiske. It first belonged to Adele Earnest, founding administrator of the American Folk Art Museum in New York. She sold the palette to pioneering folk art collector Stewart Gregory, who loaned the work for an exhibition of more than 40 palettes and sculptures at the American Pavilion at the 1970 World’s Fair in Osaka. The sale of Gregory’s collection upon his death in 1976 reached $ 1.3 million and was seen as a turning point for the popular art market. There, this weather vane sold for $ 16,000 and found a new star-studded owner: American director Mike Nichols (1931-2014), who won the Oscar for Best Director for The graduation (1967).

that of Malick Sidibé A yé-yé in position (1963, printed 2011) Courtesy of Artcurial

that of Malick Sidibé A yé-yé in position (1963, printed 2011)

Contemporary and Modern African Art, Artcurial, Galerie Venise Cadre, Casablanca, December 30

Estimate: € 12,000- € 15,000 ($ 13,500- $ 16,900)

In 2007, Malick Sibidé won the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale, the first African and the first photographer to do so. A native of Mali, Sibidé is best known for capturing in black and white the bustling nightclub scene and elegant youth of a newly independent Bamako, the Malian capital. This photograph was taken in 1963, a year after setting up his own studio. It depicts a young man in bottom of a bell holding a cigarette and striking a deliberately relaxed pose, a hallmark of the artist. Sidibé, whose sense of composition was shaped by a first career in drawing, has always insisted that his subjects never appear “rigid”. Sidibé’s work is known for its links with musical culture and this work is no exception: its title refers to yé-yé, a style of pop music from the 1960s popularized by musicians like Serge Gainsbourg, and whose practitioners embodied the free attitude of the era. It was purchased by the consignor, a Belgian collector, at the Galerie Magnin-A in Paris. Sidibé’s auction record stands at £ 35,000, reached at Sotheby’s London in April 2021.

Shoemaker’s sign for “HW Trickett”, English (circa 1900) Courtesy of Robert Young Antiques / Artmedia Press

Shoemaker’s sign for “HW Trickett”, English (circa 1900)

With Robert Young Antiques at the Winter Show, Park Avenue Armory,
New York, January 21-30

Price: $ 15,000

This trade sign, unusually painted on heavy canvas, was purchased by London-based folk art specialist Robert Young straight from the Lancashire shoe factory for which it was made. It’s the only business sign Young has found that includes a portrait of the “company’s (presumably narcissistic) founder,” in this case Henry Whittaker Trickett, known from afar for his excellent slippers. But what is a good sign? To be able to trace its origin, Young says, but “they must also reflect their period and trade, have strong graphics, and retain the original historical surface, including wear and tear, weathering or accidental loss.” Scale is also important (this one is large, at 40 inches high), although panels of this size are usually painted on wood panels, which inevitably have a tendency to shrink, split or split. alter (creating what are called “ghost signs”). This one, however, is in remarkably good and undamaged condition, “which is because it was designed to be hung inside the plant, rather than outside, where it would be exposed to the elements, ”Young explains.


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