22-23 August: Living with Art sale
After Alexander Calder, American Revolution Bicentennial (edition 34) by Pinton Frères Aubusson
A highlight of the house’s online sale of decorative objects and works of art is a handwoven tapestry designed by Alexander Calder and manufactured by the French atelier Pinton Frères of Aubusson, the area renowned for its centuries old output of fine tapestries that achieved its fame with the Flemish weavers who settled and worked there under Louis XIV to furnish the palace of Versailles. Calder (along with other Modernist artists, such as Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró) worked with the atelier in the 1960s to produce over 80 designs in woven wool; these, made in exclusive editions of eight (including two artist proofs), became known as the “Calder Aubussons” and have achieved six figure prices. This piece, however, belongs to a series of six commemorative designs that the atelier received special government dispensation to produce in larger editions of 200 (the actual number the atelier manufactured is unclear, as they were made on demand). Calder’s colourful, simple motif suggestive of a rising sun translates well to textiles, but the process is labour-intensive, and it might take a skilled Aubusson weaver one month to create one sq m. Other designs from the bicentennial series have fetched between $6,000 and $8,000 at auction.
29 August-11 September: Original Film Posters Online
King Kong (1933) poster, French by René Péron
King Kong (1933) poster, French by René Péron. Photo courtesy of Sotheby's.
A highlight of the house’s inaugural online sale of vintage film posters is a broadsheet poster created to promote the 1933 release of the landmark film King Kong in France, from the days when studios commissioned various designs and sizes to advertise their films in different markets. This one, by the late René Péron—a leading poster artist of the Art Deco era, who designed more than 2,000 posters for major film studios—is known as “Style A” and depicts the classic scene where Kong battles with military airplanes after climbing to the peak of the Empire State Building. It is one of just 20 such posters known to still exist and was consigned by a Paris-based collector, who bought it for £15,000 16 years ago. The framed work is in excellent condition and “has required minimal restoration”, Bruce Marchant, a consultant for the house, told The Art Newspaper. In 2015, a poster of the same size from the 1933 French release in less pristine shape achieved around £13,000 with premium at Christie’s, London. A US version of a first edition King Kong poster achieved around $388,000 with premium at Heritage Auctions, Dallas, in 2012, the highest price ever achieved at auction for a poster of the film and a record for the house.