It was one big party in London this week, celebrating the best art and antiques money can buy.
It started at Sothebys, New Bond street on Monday night, with the preview to the Impressionist and Modern Art sale, (which broke records on Wednesday night) and the Contemporary sale which will take place on 1st July. Flower displays were interwoven into the staircase, beautifully winding their way to the finest champagne and canapés. And then the Art…Think of any of the iconic masters of those eras and they were inevitably there.
Francis Bacon’s ‘Study of the Pope I’, Degas’s bronze sculpture ‘La Petite danseuse de quartorze ans’. Arguably the most important Manet in private collection, ‘Le Bar Aux Folies Bergere’, Klimt’s ‘Bildnis Gertrud Loew (Gertha Felsovanyi)’. The painting remained with the sitter until she was forced to flee the Nazi’s in 1939 leaving all her possessions behind. It is now being restituted to Gertrud’s heirs. Once again a record sale was made for a Klimt painting, selling for £24.8 million.
The Impressionist and Modern Art sale made £179 million, the second highest total for any sale ever held in London. My fantasy is being able to afford ‘Four Eggs on a Plate’ by Lucien Freud that will be sold at the Contemporary sale on 1st July.
There was no break before we opened our doors on Tuesday night for the Pimlico Road party. Along with our fellow shops: Christopher Howe, Rose Uniacke, Soane and Collier Webb to name a few, we cracked open the bottles and we had a brilliant night. Flowers from Scarlet & Violet filled the nineteenth century copy of the Warwick vase and as Bacchus, the God of wine instructed, the wine flowed all night…
Scarlet and Violet Flowers in the nineteenth century copy of the Warwick Vase
The fun was only enhanced by Gavin Houghton, David Oliver from The Paint Library and Joan Hecktermann from The World Of Interiors. This year we promised to be grown up and not to get drunk and we failed miserably!
With sore heads it was off to Masterpiece which never fails to be spellbinding – no doubt the highlight of the London Art calendar. Charlotte fell in love with a Terry Frost collage on Godson & Coles stand that was, as ever, superb.
I was relieved to see that Raffaello Tomasso made it to his exceptional stand after partying with us at Jamb the night before with his wife.
They have an exceptional early 19th century bronze urn, circa 1805, a copy of a 4th century AD urn, which is in the Vatican. Both the scale and chasing make this object truely to die for.
With my accrued three day hangover, the last thing I will manage this week is the Barbara Hepworth ‘Sculpture for a Modern world’ at the Tate Britain. Apparently its a show not to be missed.