Two choice, original Picasso drawings and one of Francisco Botero’s most sought-after sculptures are among the 95 prized artworks featured in Beaux Auctions’ May 27 absentee and online-only sale. Every piece included in the fine art and antiques auction has been personally chosen and carefully curated by Beaux Auctions, and most will be offered without reserve. Additionally, each of the sale’s headliners is accompanied by a written study prepared during the authentication process.
The sculptural creations of Francisco Botero (Colombian, b. 1932-) are visually unmistakable and can be seen in museums, plazas and parks throughout the world, from New York’s Park Avenue to the Champs Elysees in Paris. One of the forms collectors covet but seldom have the opportunity to acquire is Botero’s 2006 bronze Ballerina, which was cast at Fonderia Artistica Mariani in Italy in an edition of six. Beaux Auction will present Ballerina #5 of 6 signed, numbered and stamped within the casting at their May 27 auction. The 17-inch patinated bronze sculpture is expected to achieve $250,000-$350,000.
“Any Botero collector is going to want this piece,” said Beaux Auctions partner Ynoluz Bacalao. “It’s very desirable, and I think it has a chance of even exceeding its auction estimate.” Those who purchase top-tier art from Beaux do so with confidence, Bacalao added. “As we state in each catalog description, the lot is ‘as described, or your money back.’”
Will they end up in a museum or a private collection? that is the question being asked about two original pen and ink and inkwash drawings by Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973). Cataloged as consecutive auction lots, both of the 1930s artworks reflect an important recurring theme in Picasso’s body of work from that period that of the bull and the Minotaur. Each is estimated at $250,000-$350,000. (Provenance upon request)
“The composition in both of the drawings is reminiscent of some of the lithograph prints in the Vollard Suite,” said Bacalao. “The bull and Minotaur appear in Picasso prints, but rarely in his original drawings. Experts who have viewed the two artworks in our sale say they are 100% authentic. Everything about them is right, down to the type of paper. We invite anyone with an interest to come to our gallery to conduct their own personal inspection.”
The Picassos are titled Minoature et la Dormeuse, measuring 11.5 by 15.1 inches; and Minotaure s’approche de la Dormeuse, whose vertical orientation is 15.1 x 11.5 inches. It is presumed that the model who posed for the drawings was Picasso’s muse, Marie-Therese Walter.
Highlighting the 18th/19th-century European paintings is a Francois Pascal Simon Gerard (attr.) (Rome 1779-Paris 1837) oil on board inspired by Daphnis and Chloe, characters in a 2nd century A.D. Greek novel by Longus. Superbly executed, the 27 by 20-inch work is framed and in excellent condition. Its estimate is $30,000-$40,000.
“When Gerard paintings appear at auction, they tend to exceed their estimates by quite a wide margin sometimes doubling expectations,” said Bacalao. “The painting in our auction is an outstanding example and pleasing to the eye. The anatomies and sky are exceptional.” The lot is accompanied by a complete study that eliminates the possibility of its having been painted by any of Gerard’s contemporaries, Bacalao noted.
An Ancient Roman reconstituted mosaic panel from Dougga, Tunisia, 150 B.C., depicts a lion attacking an antelope. Its dimensions are 26.5 by 18.5 inches, and it is estimated at $1,500-$2,500. “Dougga is almost certainly the best-preserved Roman town in North Africa and is acclaimed for its period mosaics,” said Bacalao. “This panel is a fine representation.”
Beaux Auctions has a large and loyal following of buyers who collect Latin-American art and they’re not all based in the Americas. “Brazil has a growing, very wealthy base of art collectors, but worldwide the ‘new rich’ are investing in art as an alternative to the stock market. The Chinese don’t always bid, but when they see a masterpiece they want, they’ll bid as high as they have to go to get it. They’re very hard to beat,” Bacalao said.
Latin-American selections in the May 27 auction range from classical to contemporary. From the Cuzco school, a circa-1740 Salamiel Dei oil depicting an archangel with arquebus measures 48½ by 40 inches and is estimated at $16,000-$20,000. A late-19th-century Cuzco school painting, Birthday of the Virgin, is by an anonymous artist and is a richly gold-embellished interior scene depicting The Holy Family, angels and other attendants. It measures 35 by 27.5 inches, is exquisitely framed, and is estimated at $10,000-$12,000.
The sale also features colonial art of the Americas, including antique oil-on-copper paintings; and Cuban art. The best of the latter category is an original drawing by Wifredo Lam (1902-1982). The untitled ink-on-paper drawing, 13 by 19.5 inches, is an intricately detailed, high-quality drawing with a personal inscription from 1958. It comes with a COA from Lou Laurin Lam and is offered with a $15,000-$20,000 estimate. Also of note is a striking Elmar Rojas (Guatemalan, b. 1938-) oil on canvas. Estimate: $40,000-$50,000.
Beaux Auction (beauxauctions.com) makes every effort to be flexible and considerate of its customers, no matter where they live. “Although our auctions are online and absentee only, purchases do not have to be shipped immediately. We are happy to hold purchases for buyers who know they will be coming to Miami for instance, to attend Art Basel or Art Miami and who wish to collect their purchases at that time,” said Bacalao. “And, we like to make it simple on the other end of the transaction, as well. Most of what we sell comes to us through referrals from art appraisers and dealers who handle high-end estates. Working with us is a much faster process than working with large auction houses. There’s much less paperwork and far less lead time till the next sale. As a result, our consignors receive payment much faster, and that has made a big difference to our business.”
Beaux Auctions’ Tuesday, May 27, 2014 Fine Art & Antiques Auction is an absentee and online event accessible through LiveAuctioneers. The start time is 6 pm. Eastern Time. All lots may be previewed via the online catalog, although interested parties are welcome to preview in person if they are in the Miami area. Contact Beaux Auctions to schedule a viewing time. For information on any item or to leave an absentee bid to be lodged competitively during the auction, call tollfree 1-877-572-1708 or email info[.]beauxauctions.com. All enquiries will be answered promptly. Visit Beaux Auctions online.