One auction house is ending the auction season in style with a series of exceptional sales comprising seven different categories and nearly 2,500 lots. Here are the highlights of the sale, from art and jewellery to fashion accessories and archaeological treasures.
Treat yourself to a short stay on the Monegasque coast to attend eight extraordinary sales organised by HVMC, the Monte-Carlo auction house. From 17 to 21 July, collectors and amateurs can bid on nearly 2,500 lots, including fashion, jewellery, art, watches and more. Here are the must-have lots of this busy auction week, as well as Barnebys favourites.
We start on 17 July with a stylish sale, which will honour the great couturiers and brands that rule the world of luxury. Dior, Gucci, Bulgari, Prada, Chanel and Valentino will be on offer, but the undisputed star of the sale will be none other than Hermès with an impressive number of the most coveted handbag, the Birkin, such as this black model of 2019 equipped with a padlock, keys, bell, zipper and double handle.
The Barnebys favourite: an exceptional Louis Vuitton rocking horse in polychrome wood. This type of object was formerly used for the decoration of the showcases of the brand. The present model is signed lower right with an incomplete inscription.
With two catalogues comprising respectively 565 and 755 lots, the jewellery category will be dispersed over four sales sessions on 18-19 July. The first selection of lots will be highlighted by this extraordinary ring in grey gold ring centred on a rare ruby weighing 10.21 carats. According to the Gübelin certificate that accompanies it, this jewel comes from Burma and its natural certified colour has not undergone any thermal modification.
The second catalogue will bring together notorious creators and goldsmiths of the twentieth century, as well as a superb selection of artists' jewellery, such as Picasso, Jean Cocteau, Keith Haring and Georges Braque. One of the highlights is a superb pair of pearl and pearl diamond flower earrings, supporting two removable pearl emeralds weighing 14.40 and 14.63 carats. Both stones come from the mines in Muzo, Colombia and are vivid green certified by the GRS.
The Barnebys favourite: a necklace from the Ghiso house, known for its Art Deco, platinum and diamond creations from the 1950s.
The sales marathon will continue on 19 July with the dispersion of 232 lots gathering the big names in watchmaking. One of the stars is this men's Rolex GMT SARU dated around 2013 with an 18K yellow gold band and a dial studded with 18 sapphires, 18 jewels and 22 diamonds.
The Barnebys favourite: a 2014 men's Patek Philippe Nautilus with a bluish black steel dial.
Russian art will be in the spotlight the next day, with 231 lots bringing together many decorative objects, works of art, jewellery, and goldsmith treasures. The famous Fabergé house will be featured with this incredible planter centrepiece in silver. The Rococo-style virtuoso object, adorned with a shell cartridge, is engraved with a coat of arms, bearing the goldsmith's mark 'K. ФАЬЕРЖЕ' (C. Fabergé), and the mark of the imperial house.
The Barnebys favoyrite: View of the Neapolitan coast, an oil on canvas by the romantic painter and master of marine painting, Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky
The dispersal of this private collection will begin on 20 July with several sets of Roman coins, Byzantine, and an important selection of royal and Napoleonic coins. Noteworthy among the wax cases and other flasks is this oval shaped snuffbox with a lid with miniature decoration and garlands of opalescent pearls. This masterpiece of 1784-85 is signed by the master goldsmith Joseph Etienne Blerzy, whose creations are now in the largest museums, while the miniature is attributed to Louis Nicolas Van Blarenberghe.
The Barnebys favourite: a piriform gold bottle enamelled with bindweed flowers and a vegetable garland intertwined with a ribbon.
Archeological treasures will enter the scene at the end of the week with ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian antiquities. This fine-grained white marble head from the 2nd century BC represents the famous Greek playwright Menander.
The Barnebys favourite: an Egyptian statue in painted wood and polychrome representing a male character. The artefact dates from 1991-1783 BC and will be presented in a very good state of conservation.
The sales series will end on the evening of 21 July with a session dedicated to Modern and Contemporary Art, with a catalogue of 138 paintings and sculptures by the greatest, including Picasso, Utrillo, Roberto Matta, and Philippe Pasqua, as well as several leading figures of urban art. Among the masterpieces on offer, we note the presence of Three Dancers in Bust, a beautiful pastel and charcoal on paper laminated on cardboard by Edgar Degas. The drawing was sold for the first time in December 1918 for 1,700 francs, when the content of the artist's studio was dispersed. From a private collection, this work arrives on the market coincidentally at the same time while the Musée d'Orsay is preparing to pay tribute to the painter in an exhibition this fall. An oil on canvas by Bernard Buffet entitled Bald Clown (1966) will also be available with an estimate on request.
Barnebys's favourite: The Flute Player, Camille Claudel's brown patina bronze, the first of an edition of eight.