Thursday 26 November 2015

London Calling | Elegant and Ancient exceptional sales in the New World

A near lifesize french
patinated bronze figure:
Psyché eugène-antoine aizelin
(french, 1821-1902)
f. Barbedienne foundry,
Paris third quarter 19th century.
Hagstrom Family Collection
Thursday November 26, 2015 - Three significant auctions will take place by Christies and Bonhams in the US on December. Christie’s announces two Antiquities sales to be offered starting from December 1 to 10, which will feature a comprehensive selection of works from across the ancient worlds of Greece, Rome, Egypt, the Near East and beyond. On December 9, the Antiquities sale will be led by an Egyptian grano-diorite torso of an official, a Sumerian copper bowl with an intricate animal relief, a significant group of over life-sized body parts, including bronze heads, a Roman marble head and a colossal marble hand. These highlights will be joined by Part II of the Elias S. David Collection, including a group of bronzes and a Roman marble head of Jupiter. In addition, Christie’s Digital Sales will offer the 17th annual Ancient Jewelry sale dedicated to exquisite wearable works of art, the first year on Christie’s online-only sale platform from December 1- 10. The sale will feature necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets from all corners of the ancient world from the 3rd millennium B.C. through to the 1st millennium A.D. with accessible price points range from $1000 to $35,000. The jewelry will be displayed concurrently with the Antiquities sale preview, from December 5-8.

Bonhams announces the sale of historic furniture and decorative arts from the Hagstrom Family Collection as part of an upcoming auction, The Elegant Home, on Dec. 7-8 at Bonhams Los Angeles.  The Elegant Home is the first in a series of sales that will offer a collection of furniture and decorative objects carefully curated to reflect a lifestyle of luxury and refinement. On December 7-8 at Bonhams Los Angeles, the sale will feature a fine selection of paintings, furniture, silver and decorative objects spanning the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The Elegant Home: Select Furniture, Silver, Decorative and Fine Arts will be previewed at Bonhams Los Angeles Dec. 4, 12 p.m.-5 p.m.; Dec. 5, 12 p.m.-5 p.m. and Dec. 6, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The catalog is online here.

Emil Hagstrom, born in Copenhagen, epitomized the "self-made man" or "American Dream". Immigrating to the U.S. in 1907, he found work as a lumberjack, bellhop and errand boy. After saving enough money, he purchased a small creamery in Seattle. Hagstrom built the company for a year and subsequently sold it for a large profit. He then purchased and ran a creamery in Everett Washington, but due to economic trends, the business failed. He moved to Oakland, California and by 1917, he was able to open his own dairy business, which rapidly expanded to include groceries. By 1929, he sold the business which had developed into a chain of 335 stores known as The Mutual Food Stores, for $6,000,000. In 1932, he launched Hagstrom's Food Stores, Inc. Over the next 11 years, the one store grew to 51, with a total of 600 employees, and the successful enterprise eventually merged with present-day Safeway, Inc.

The featured 10 items played a role in both California during the Gold Rush Era and in the history of international decorative arts made during the third quarter of the 19th century. Collected by Emil Hagstrom, a Danish immigrant and self-made entrepreneur, these pieces have not been on public view in more than 70 years. Emil Hagstrom and his wife Esther loved attending auctions and acquiring fine art and antiques. The couple frequented many of the high-profile, San Francisco-based auctions at Butterfield & Butterfield, the leading auction firm in California at the time. During the 1940's and 1950's, the Hagstroms acquired important pieces from, most notably, the auction of The Estate of Mary K. Hopkins, held at Sherwood Hall and in San Francisco in 1942 (many of the pieces carried the provenance of Mark Hopkins, one of the four principal investors in the Central Pacific Railroad, and Milton Slocum Latham, Governor of California).

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