ZURICH.- In the week of 17 - 22 September 2012 Koller will offer at auction old masters, important furniture and applied arts, jewellery and wristwatches, as well as rare manuscripts and books. The most spectacular lot is a painting by the Spanish artist Francisco de Goya, which hung for over 80 years unrecognised in a private collection and has now been rediscovered.
Old Master and 19th Century Paintings
21 September 2012
The main lot at Kollers Old Master auction in Zurich on 21 September will be an early work by the important Spanish painter Francisco de Goya. The 91.5x125 cm painting depicts the biblical scene Lot and his daughters. The sky is coloured red by the flames from Sodom burning in the valley behind the trees. In the literature on the celebrated Spanish painter the work is usually dated to the second half of the 1770s. Goya, who was born in 1746, returned to Spain in 1771 after his Italian journey. In Spain he was occupied with commissions for churches and monasteries amongst other things and, from 1776, he began the designs for the wall hangings which would decorate the royal palaces of El Pardo and El Escorial. The painting, which has now come to auction at Koller, was in a private collection in Bilbao until the 1920s, and was then sold to a collector: the painting remained, unrecognised, with the collectors family until today. Now, with the review of the estate, it has been rediscovered as a work by Goya which had been missing for over 80 years. The auction of this painting is nothing less than sensational, with fewer than 10 works worldwide by the hand of the famous Spaniard coming to auction in the last 20 years. An early work of this importance by Goya has never come to auction in that period (estimate CHF 600 000 / 800 000).
Further Old Master Paintings
In the same collection for over 100 years and never in that time offered on the market, the painting Christ and John as children embracing now also comes to auction at Koller. The painting on panel features a theme - that of children embracing - which can be traced back to a pictorial device by Leonardo da Vinci. It is now recognised as a work by the Antwerp master Joos van Cleve, who at the beginning of the 16th century was intensely interested in the innovations of Leonardo whose renown had spread far beyond Italy. This work - also with its painted frame reminiscent of Roman grotesques - is a splendid example of the Renaissance north of the Alps as influenced by Italy (estimate CHF 220 000 / 280 000).
For many years Koller has regularly presented important works at auction by Ivan Aivazovsky. Aivazovsky who was born in 1817 on the Black Sea, is one of the most famous Russian painters of the 19th century. In 1856 he produced the painting of a broad landscape with settlers, which will be offered by Koller in September. A private collector discovered the painting in the 1970s in a small antiques shop on the Côte dAzur, where many Russian aristocrats had moved in the wake of the Russian Revolution (estimate CHF 450 000 / 700 000).
Also offered at this auction, alongside many other works, is a large format painting of the mockery of Christ, painted by Gianlorenzo Bernini, the most famous sculptor of his time (estimate CHF 300 000 / 400 000) as well as a fine still life with a parrot, fruits and shells by Balthasar van der Ast (estimate CHF 150 000 / 200 000).
Furniture, Manuscripts and Books
During the September sales, Koller will auction over 300 items of furniture and decorative objects, some of great note, from the 17th to the 19th centuries. The works on offer include an important chest of drawers à fleurs made circa 1765, from the circle of Abraham Roentgen and his workshop, signed I.G. Barthel, Neuwied (estimate CHF 280 000 / 380 000). Also of outstanding quality is a pair of commdes by the famous North Italian cabinet maker Giuseppe Maggiolini, which is estimated at CHF 240 000 / 360 000.
The auction of Books and Manuscripts includes a very fine prayer book with five full page pictorial miniatures, which was produced between 1490 and 1500 in Rouen at the workshop of Robert Boyvin and was possibly commissioned by the Cauchois Family in Bourgtheroulde (estimate CHF 30 000 / 40 000). From William Hamilton comes the work on the volcanoes of Sicily (Observations on the Volcanos of the two Sicilies) with 59 coloured copper engraved plates, which was published in 1776-1779 in Naples (estimate CHF 30 000 / 40 000).