Joseph Mallord William Turner (British, 1775-1851), Liber Studiorum 71 in 2 folio boxes. Estimate: $17,000 – 26,000
LONDON—There is great buzz in London as collectors and buyers from across the globe gather in London for the Old Master Week. In addition to announced works, there are great expectations that some other important masterpieces by old masters will appear on the market. But while the search for the great master piece continues, Bonhams is providing the opportunity for an alternative art niche that is both more affordable and with a track record in growing value as strong as any art market niche – Prints.
Established and new art collectors will have the opportunity to collect prints by famous artists during Bonhams Prints and Multiples sale on July 15. The art event provides “a fantastic opportunity for art lovers with a small select high value selection,” says Rupert Worrall, Head of Prints at Bonhams. The Prints and Multiples sale, he adds, provides “an opportunity to select from some of the western world’s greatest art – everything from Old Masters to Contemporary – at prices that are accessible from £5,000 to £70,000 – and a stability of value in a rising market.”
Bonhams Prints and Multiples sale is headlined by a fantastic collection of 71 etchings with mezzotint by William Turner, (British, 1775-1851) designed to educate future artists. Titled Liber Studiorum, the 71 works come in two folio boxes which are estimated to sell for £10,000-15,000.($ 17,000 – 26,000)
The Liber Studiorum was published between 1807 and 1819, with 71 plates in 14 parts, each containing 5 etchings, with subjects divided into the following categories: Pastoral, Marine, Mountainous, Architectural, Historical and Elevated Pastoral. As the title suggests, it was conceived as a collection for study and learning, to be of particular use to other artists. The Liber Studiorum proved to be a success, admired by scholars and public alike for its technical and artistic virtuosity. W.G. Rawlinson described it as “a monumental work of art and that it will take rank with the highest productions of the greatest landscape painter which the world has yet seen”.
Another series of engraved works in this sale are by Salvador Dali (1904-1989), titled Dante Alighieri: La Divine Comédie. There are 100 wood engravings in 3 folios estimated to sell for £40,000-£60,000. The complete set, 1960-64, comprising 100 wood engravings printed in colours, signed and inscribed, were published by Les Heures Claires, Paris.
Five works by Pablo Picasso range in price from £1,500 to £50,000 ($ 51,000 – 86,000). The latter work is titled Quatre femmes nues et tête sculptée, an etching made in 1934 from his famous Vollard Suite.
There are no fewer than 12 Chagalls in the sale, offering his usual stunning palette and ranging in price from £2,000 to £20,000($ 27,000 – 34,000). The most valuable is titled The Wolf Pit, from Daphnis and Chloe, a lithograph from 1961 printed in yellows, green, red and blue.
A dog theme emerges in a serendipitous way with the offerings of prints by Freud, Koons and Hockney. These three modern artists present loving portraits of man’s best friend show.
Hockney offers two dachshunds at rest titled Vertical Dogs, an etching with aquatint printed in colours, 1995, estimated at £4,000 to £6,000 ($6,900 – 10,000).
Jeff Koons (born 1955) has a work in the sale titled Puppy, made in 1998, a white ceramic vase shaped like a white West Highland Terrier. It is estimated to sell for £5,000 to £7,000 ($ 8,600 – 12,0000).