Global Auction Calendar: Highlights For The First Quarter Of 2018
After last year’s record-smashing sales, what does 2018 have in store for the global auction world?
Published on 10 January 2018
Kickstart the new year with our selection of unmissable auctions, from RM Sotheby’s sale in Arizona – the epicentre of the collector car world – to choice specimens of Asian porcelain curated by the Marchant family.
Ever since Samuel Sydney Marchant founded the eponymous Marchant company in London, the name has become synonymous with prized Oriental art and antiques, including Imperial Chinese Ming and Qing porcelains, jades, cloisonné, pottery, and works of art. The art-dealing dynasty, which now spans four generations, will offer 100 pieces that illustrate the Marchant family’s extraordinary history and exquisite taste, including a set of rare blue and white ‘tea cultivation’ dishes from the eighteenth-century Qianlong period.
The vibrant grounds of the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa will play host to the nineteenth annual Arizona sale, where the collector car season will undoubtedly begin on a strong note. Over 100 blue-chip automobiles from the world’s most iconic marques will be placed on show, while auction offerings will span the spectrum of the market, from pre-war classics and contemporary supercars through to important sports and racing cars. Do keep an eye out for the 1964 Ferrari 250 GT/L Berlinetta Lusso by Scaglietti, which is expected to bring in up to US$2.2 million.
The auction of choice for new collectors seeking to add some famous names to their collection – and all at hammer prices that won’t require a quadruple mortgage to fulfil – Phillips’ Evening & Day Editions sale will more than whet your appetite. Ceramics by Pablo Picasso, lithographs by Henri Matisse, and etchings by Lucian Freud are some of the auction’s most enticing lots, while screenprints by Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst will likely be snapped up with enthusiasm.
Important motor cars, automobilia, and watches will all be on display at the Grand Palais in France’s City of Light, with some particularly tempting specimens up for sale in 2018. There’s a 1968 Lamborghini Miura P400 S with a top estimate of €1.4 million (US$1.7 million), and a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster built to SLS aluminium competition specification, which also happens to be the star and class winner of the 1997 Carrera Panamericana.
No giggling, please – the Erotic: Passion and Desire auction illustrates the way that the naked body has been explored over centuries through painting, sculpture, drawings, photography, books, and design, permeating our society and creating exceptional works of art in the process. You’ll find the inaugural issue of Playboy from December 1953 offered alongside Richard Avedon’s provocative photograph, Nastassja Kinski and the Serpent – perfect if you’ve forgotten about Valentine’s Day and need to make up for it pronto.
One of the most iconic covers from Marvel’s most well-known character is likely to fetch US$400,000 at Heritage Auctions with John Romita Sr. and Frank Giacoia’s 1971 Amazing Spider-Man #100 cover, which many fans consider to be Marvel’s greatest “floating heads cover” ever. DC fans will be delighted by a rare high-grade copy of the first ever issue of Batman from 1940, which carries an auction estimate of US$250,000 – after all, it’s currently one of the most in-demand comics on the market.
Femme Tahitienne assise – a ravishing pastel of a seated Tahitian woman by Paul Gauguin – will lead Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art auction, which boasts an extremely strong selection of works on paper from the most important figures in Modern art. The Gauguin pastel is thought to be worth up to £800,000 (US$1 million), having never before been seen on the open market, while Pablo Picasso’s early drawing, Jeune fille nue de profil, is bound to attract similar attention as it has never been offered at auction before.
One of only two 1919 Pierce-Arrow Series 51 Four Passenger Touring models to exist, plus a rare 1939 Bentley 4 1/4 Tourer overdrive model await the attention of motor car collectors at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club. Last year’s sale generated US$10.2 million in sales and an 87% sell-through rate, so expect to see even more vigorous bidding at the auction block this year.
More than 100 paintings spanning the twelfth to eighteenth century characterise this magnificent collection of Himalayan artwork, acquired over decades and honed according to the discerning eye and impeccable taste of Swiss-born Nobel Chemistry Laureate Richard Ernst and his wife Magdalena. A thirteenth-century Tibetan thangka depicting Rinchen Zangpo – which itself symbolises the Ernsts’ lifetime commitment to Himalayan painting and sculpture – brings with it a top estimate of US$2 million.
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