Upcoming Auction: Painting by Emiliano di Cavalcanti

All eyes are on the estate auction taking place next weekend at the Crescent City Auction Gallery in New Orleans. On the auction block is a figural oil-on-canvas painting by Brazilian artist Emiliano di Cavalcanti (1897-1976). He created it in 1948 and titled it “Pescadores” which means fisherman in Spanish. They expect it to bring in $150,000-$250,000 at the estates auction.

It is signed by the artist and shows fishermen bringing in their catch with a fishing boat and a setting sun in the background. One of his paintings sold at Sotheby’s in May for $360,000.

Read the full article on this upcoming auction here.

Getty Villa Launches New Ancient Sicilian Exhibit

The Getty Villa is undoubtedly excited to launch a new exhibition called the Sanctuaries of Demeter and Persephone at Morgantina, which features 37 excavated objects from the ancient central Sicilian city.

The artifacts will be on display until January 21st of next year, on loan from the Museo Archeologico Regionale of Aidone. They include vases, oil lamps, terracotta deity figurines, bone clothes and hair pins, and a lead curse tablet.

Demeter and Persephone were worshipped as goddesses of agricultural fertility in ancient Sicily. Myth holds that Persephone was kidnapped by Hades, thus creating the change of seasons. In Roman history, Demeter is known as Ceres, and Roman images are featured in the exhibit as well, to showcase the divinities in both cultures.

“We are thrilled to have these unique objects from Morgantina- an excavation where generations of American archeologists were trained-on view for the first time in the United States at the Getty Museum,” said senior curator of antiquities Claire Lyons. “These loans represent the great benefits of collaboration, and help to share and preserve Sicily’s rich cultural heritage for future generations.”

Parco Archeologico di Morgantina director Enrico Caruso added, “With this special exhibition, we are very much excited to launch a new era of close collaboration between the Museum of Aidone, today part of the Archeological Park of Morgantina, an ancillary institute of the Sicilian Ministry of Culture and Sicilian Identity, and the J. Paul Getty Museum. Thanks to this initiative, our reciprocal relationship will emerge strengthened and will be continually renewed in future projects, for fruitful academic and especially cultural exchanges.”

Ancient Glass Pieces Found to Be Decorated with Gold Foil

84 pieces of antique broken glassware were found under a Buddhist statue in 2004, in Kyoto’s Byodoin temple. Two days ago, on October 7th, temple authorities announced that they had originally been decorated with gold foil. This discovery is the first finding of gold-foil decoration on glassware in all of East Asia.

A glassware history researcher and part-time instructor at Tokai University, Akiko Inoue, analyzed the pieces, and concluded that the vessels must have had a special significance.

The fact that “they were treated so importantly even though they were broken pieces suggests the original vessels they came from may have had some special meaning,” Inoue said.

Experts believe that the original glass vessels were made through glassblowing, though with a more advanced technique than some other glass balls found alongside them. Basing their theory on both technique and technology, researchers concluded that the pieces were made between the 10th and 12th century in China, while the gold foil was likely added in Japan.

Now on display at the Hosho Museum, the pieces still present several mysteries. Yoshitaka Aruga, a professor of the Tokyo University of the Arts, said the patterns are “simple and pictorial.” He added that the pattern on the lid looks like it could signify trickling rain. “The patterns let us imagine ancient times,” he said.

Norihiko Ogura, a professor at the same university, said the design can be seen as the inner core of a flower, as well. “There are probably meanings to the designs and the fact that gold was used, but these and many other things, including technical questions like how they applied the gold leaf, are still mysteries,” he said.

Antique Dealer Estate for Sale

One of the best known antiques dealers in Ireland recently passed away, leaving an enviable estate worth €5,836,08. Jill Cox operated the successful Beaufield Mews in south Dublin. More than 800 specialty items of hers were recently auctioned in Adam’s of St. Stephen’s Green.

Adam’s directors James O’Halloran and Stuart Cole both worked the marathon auction. As they told the Sunday Independent, “Jill was a very well-regarded and astute dealer who is perhaps best known as a specialist in Irish glass. This, however, only tells part of the story as she was equally enthusiastic about Irish silver, Staffordshire pottery figures, Irish furniture and Irish paintings and prints.”

The finest works at the auction included a Victorian Killarney-work Library Table that went for €8,500 and an Irish George IV yew wood cellarette that made €3,000. During the evening session the Irish paintings were put up for auction. Ena Douglas was the first to sell, making €6,600. A Daniel O’Neill’s painting “The Decision” made €26,000.

Upcoming Biennale des Antiquaries in Paris

In a recent article, Defining Chic , published in the September issue of  Art & Auction Magazine, Simon Hewitt previewed  the upcoming Biennale des Antiquaries in Paris.  He explained that the participant list had been whittled down from 94 to 87, and that the auction space was designed by Agence Decoral and Patrick Bazanan.

He described the Oval Office replica that Kramer, the Parisian 17th and 18th century furniture dealer, had put  together for the event and he discussed the presence of modern art specialists this year.  There were, according to Mr. Hewitt, twice as many modern art specialists this year than there were dealers in the Old Master paintings..

He also described the eclectic mix at the fair, with highlights that ranged from the 3rd-2nd century B.C. Hellenistic bronze equestrian figure of Alexander the Great at Phoenix Ancient Art, to Renaissance of Yiddish Culture, which was a show of Kiev-based artists.

Celtic Antiques

Celtic art  is characterized by ornamentation and lacks the  symmetry and suse of straight lines and themes from nature, which are usually integral to the classical tradition.  Classical  antiquity focused on the Mediterranean Sea, and was crafted throughout Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome civilizations, a.k.a. the Greco-Roman World.   Celtic Art, however, is  is known for its complex symbolism and focuses on letters , plant forms, spirals, human figures and more. Currently on sale at Phoenix Ancient Art are a Celtic Bronze Head of a Bull and an Appliqué with Abstract Pattern.

New Discovery in Egypt

For antique dealers archeological finds are always of interest. These news stories are often of interest to many other  people as well, as they reveal a fascinating discovery from the past.

In recent news, archeologists in Egypt have unearthed 57 ancient Egyptian tombs dating back to around 2750 B.C. The find actually throws new light on Egypt’s ancient religions, according to Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.  Find out more about the recent discovery of these antiques.

New Face of Antiquities

Buying antiques today has certainly changed from years gone by. Many antique galleries used to be appointment-only galleries. Now, their premises are open to the public and welcoming to all.  Many galleries also publish beautiful catalogs and work to broaden their client base.

Interestingly, the sale of antiques over the internet has also blossomed. As one company said, “We just sold a $150,000 piece over the web. We never met. The buyer just wired the money, and we sent the piece. That’s it.”

Many antiquities dealers are seeing their businesses taking off more than ever before.

This is certainly good news for the antiquities field – and for hard working companies that want to publicize the important of antiquities.

Background to the Brussels Antiques Fair

The Brussels Antiques and Fine Arts Fair recently concluded, and it was quite a successful event.  With its central location, in the heart of Brussels,  the fair had 130 exhibitors. This fair is a must-see in the antiques world as it allows dealers to display their exceptional works, while allowing visitors to see a vast selection of antiques all in one location.

Owning a Piece of History

Collecting and owning antiquities has always been an interest of people throughout history. Antiquities are appreciated for their beauty as art objects as well as their role as repositories of the cultures of the progenitors of western civilization. For this reason collecting antiquities is a growing interest, and if the number of objects can never get larger, as demand increases and supply is static, prices will rise. This fact makes investing in antiquities a pretty safe bet.