5 Can’t-Miss Lots Coming to the Block at Sloane Street Auctions, Including a Covetable Pair of Joshua Reynolds Portraits
Summer auctions are an ideal time for discovering hidden gems overlooked in the height of the season. If you’re hoping to stumble upon your very own treasure trove, be sure not to miss the upcoming Summer Sale at newcomer Sloane Street Auctions, in Chelsea, London. The sale, which takes place July 1, brings together an exciting mix of important 20th-century photography, luminous Old Master paintings, Persian miniatures, and much much more.
Sloane Street opened earlier this year, and was founded by art world veteran Daniel Hunt, who has more than 30 years of experience as a gallery owner and dealer. The auction house aims to appeal to both new and seasoned buyers alike, offering treasures from across the millennia, from Old Master drawings and paintings, European furniture and decorative arts, to photography, Impressionist works, as well as Modern and contemporary art.
The gallery seems to be off to a roaring start with a dazzling 140-lot auction. We’ve picked our five favorite lots, including a rare pendant of portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds.
Sir Joshua Reynolds
The Reverend and Mrs. Lloyd in Turquerie (1757)
Estimate: £300,000 – 500,000
The last known pair of Reynolds’ turquerie portraits in private hands are coming to auction, with this sumptuous duo of the Reverend and Mrs. Lloyd. Turquerie was an Orientalist fashion which emulated aspects of Turkish art and culture. prevalent in Western Europe from the 16th to 19th centuries. The style of dress and decoration became popular in part through increased trading routes with the West, and growing diplomatic relationships between the Ottomans and European nations. The Turkish costume was quickly adopted by elegant European sitters as a reference to their worldliness.
Both the Reverend Lloyd and Mrs. Elizabeth Lloyd can be seen dressed in luxurious Turkish outfits. In the book Masquerades (1984) Aileen Ribeiro defines their clothes as “an oriental masquerade dress, with the Rev. Lloyd’s turban pinned on top with a jewel and his fur-lined, short-sleeved garment—jacket or long gown—delicately and finely painted with the decoration of embroidery and tassels.” Mrs. Lloyd can be seen in a heavily embroidered and tasseled gown as well. Her hand on her hip draws striking attention to the detail of a small Ottoman-style dagger slipped into her metal-worked belt.
White Terracotta Vessel (Incised August 23, 1952
This huge, one-of-a-kind, white terracotta vessel by Pablo Picasso embodies the Spanish artist’s impassioned sense of experimentation, which characterizes his works from 1952. The work comes to auction from the estate of Marina Picasso, the artist’s granddaughter, and exemplifies his work in ceramics at its best. The piece is an exceptionally large, anthropomorphic, double-handled vessel, with the handles resembling of arms, which Picasso has playfully incised. Two vivacious faces are drawn on each side of the vessel—one male and one female. The woman’s face is rumored to be based on Jacqueline Roque, the artist’s second wife and muse. Impressions of Picasso’s thumbprints can be found at the base of the handle.
Gaugin’s Noa Noa woodcuts, which illustrate Tahitian myths and legends, survive as 78 printed compositions in woodcut, etching, and lithography. In this own time, Gauguin brought a renewed intensity to the printed medium, combining the sculptural virtuosity of his carved low reliefs in wood with the unparalleled colors of his paintings. Gauguin printed his Noa Noa blocks with a variety of color combinations, and used different types of paper, sometimes blurring or smudging his prints to create the sensation of a dreamlike reverie.
Saturday, 8 August 2015 (2019)
Contemporary artist Nick Knight is known for his sublime interpretations of fashion photography, which make subtle references to his two photographic heroes: Horst P. Horst and Bill Brandt. An innovator of the medium, Knight has composed a striking series of photographs of roses based on Dutch still-lifes. Knight picks the blooms from his own terrace and sets them up on his kitchen table, carefully piling the petals on top of each other with the support of a scaffold of small vases. He photographs the arrangements using only the natural light coming from his window, then uploads the images to Instagram where he applies filters to soften and define the petals. The original file and the Instagram file are then sent to his retouching lab, which blends them together through digital layering. The images are produced into mammoth 9-foot prints which the artist corrects using a white chinagraph wax pencil. In their final versions, the images are a composite of old and new photographic practices, which result in sublime painterly images, such as Saturday, 8 August 2015.
Black & White Nude, Preliminary Study (c.1930–1936)
Black & White Nude is a rare vintage print by the German abstract photographer Heinz Hajek-Halke, and a wonderful collecting opportunity for photography lovers, embodying both the artist’s radical contemporary vision and his exquisite manipulation of photomontage.
Hajek-Halke was a pioneer of 20th-century photography but was largely forgotten by the time of his death in 1983. Hajek-Halke was known to freely use whatever implements he happened to have close at hand in his dark room—wire, glass, glue, soot, fishbone, and varnish—in unlikely ways. Interest in his work has been revived in recent years thanks to an acclaimed retrospective of this work held at the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris in 2002.
His nudes have become the most well-know series in his oeuvre. In Black & White Nude, Preliminary Study, he montages the same woman’s body by layering the photographic image, presenting the figure in two distinct styles and shades through his impressive technical skill.
Summer Sale at Sloane Street Auctions will take place on July 1, 2022, at 2 p.m GMT.
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