American classic back at auction
A painting that hung for decades in the White House is coming to auction at Christie’s New York.
Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze (1816-68) is one of two versions of the work. The other (a much larger version) is in the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Tylee Abbott, head of department of American art at Christie’s, said the picture is “arguably the most important work of pre-war American art to ever come to the market, and indeed set the record for any American painting at auction when sold in the 1970s.”
This painting hung in The White House from the 1970s in the Nixon and Carter administrations, through President Obama’s tenure, when it hung in the West Wing lobby.
It is being offered by a private collector and was previously sold in 1973 and 1979. In 1973 it sold for $260,000, the highest price ever paid at auction for an American painting at that time.
For many years people believed that American artist Eastman Johnson painted this smaller version when he worked as Leutze’s assistant but more recently specialists believe that Leutze painted it himself, with help from Eastman.
Young and Rumfitt team up for sales
Lee Young of Somerset auction house Dore & Rees and Susan Rumfitt of dealership Susan Rumfitt Fine Jewellery in Harrogate have formed a ‘strategic partnership’ to hold specialist jewellery sales.
The first, to be held at Dore & Rees’ salerooms in Frome, will be on July 6.
The pair, both specialists on BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, plan two sales a year that will add to Dore & Rees’ growing calendar of sales and offer Rumfitt’s clients the option of selling at auction as well as through retail.
Young, who previously worked with Lyon & Turnbull and Duke’s, purchased the Frome auction house in May 2021 and now conducts revamped sales of Fine Asian Art, Classic Cars and Select Interiors. Rumfitt has built up a loyal following since opening her gallery in the Yorkshire spa town in 2006.
Seminar to cover ceramicist Baxter
The English Ceramic Circle is holding a seminar on Regency ceramicist Thomas Baxter. The event features seven speakers and will be held at the V&A on May 5.
For more details go to englishceramiccircle.org.uk
French saleroom unveils new look
Artcurial has unveiled its newlook saleroom space on the ground floor of its headquarters in the Hôtel Marcel Dassault, at the Rond-Point des Champs- Elysées in Paris.
The auction house is celebrating its 20th anniversary and the new space has been arranged to host the majority of its sales.
In addition, the exhibition spaces have been enlarged to enable a programme of cultural shows to run throughout the year and a new café will open in September. The Artcurial Bookstore reopened on April 15.
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The hammer price for a 374-litre cask of whisky from the Macallan distillery which was filled in May 1988. The price (£1.007m including buyer’s premium) at an auction held by Whisky Hammer was a new record for the sale of a whisky cask, beating the previous high set at Bonhams in 2019 of £444,000.