The best upcoming auctions | FinancialTimes

Fragments of Mars and other extraterrestrial objects at Christie’s

Meteorites are among the most rarefied objects in the world: the collective weight of each known specimen is less than the world’s annual gold production. Pieces falling from the Moon or Mars are the rarest to date. Christie’s “Deep Impact: Martian, Lunar and other Rare Meteorites” sale features a selection of some of Earth’s most legendary specimens. Notable lots include the third-largest chunk of Mars on Earth ($500,000 to $800,000); a meteorite that knocked a cow off its feet – the only death inflicted by a meteorite on record ($3,000 to $5,000); another that hit a niche in Costa Rica ($40,000 to $60,000); and the devastated niche itself ($200,000 to $300,000). There’s also a piece of glass from the Libyan desert, created around 29 million years ago when an asteroid impact melted the sand ($150,000 to $250,000). “Awe and wonder seem to be rare these days,” says curator and expert Darryl Pitt, “but not when you have an object from outer space in your hand that is older than Earth. ” Open for online auction until February 23; christies.com

A pallasite meteorite from the inner asteroid belt is expected to fetch $10,000-15,000 at Christie’s online auction

The third largest piece of Mars on Earth (estimate between $500,000 and $800,000)

The third largest piece of Mars on Earth (estimate between $500,000 and $800,000)


Art for the benefit of the Warburg Institute

Founded in Hamburg by pioneering art historian Aby Warburg, the Warburg Institute – and its collection of 80,000 books (which today number 350,000) – was uprooted to London in the 1930s to save it of the Nazis, and was a leading center for interdisciplinarity. study through art and culture since. Today, contemporary artists such as Anselm Kiefer, Cornelia Parker and Edmund De Waal are donating works to help fund the completion of the £14.5million renovation and expansion of the Bloomsbury Building . Highlights include Anselm Kiefer’s walleye Der Morgenthau-Plan (£25,000-£35,000) and Michael Joo’s crane legs sculpture, DRWN (Carunculatus) AI 2 (£15,000-£25,000). “I always think of the Warburg Institute as a perfect, quiet place to soak up culture,” Parker says. “Having previously exhibited there in 1999, I am happy to donate one of my photogravures for this auction to allow others to further explore their love of art history.” March 4; phillips.com

Der Morgenthau-Plan, 2021, by Anselm Kiefer (est. £25,000-35,000) is among the lots at Phillips' auction for the Warburg Institute

Der Morgenthau-Plan, 2021, by Anselm Kiefer (est. £25,000-35,000) is among the lots at Phillips’ auction for the Warburg Institute © Courtesy of Phillips

DRWN (Carunculatus) AI 2, 2015, by Michael Joo (estimate £15,000-£25,000)

DRWN (Carunculatus) AI 2, 2015, by Michael Joo (estimate £15,000-£25,000) © Courtesy of Phillips


A chance to own one of Monet’s water lilies

Claude Monet’s work can be understood as a progressive movement towards abstraction, from his early portraits and leisure scenes to the hazy landscapes of his Norman garden. By the time he retired to his country house in Giverny in the late 19th century, he was concentrating almost entirely on abstract renderings of his lily pond (now known as his water lilies paintings). A late work from this period is due to go on sale, along with five other Monets, in a Sotheby’s sale in London next month.

Last auctioned four decades ago, one of Claude Monet's Water Lilies (c1914-17) paintings could fetch £20million at Sotheby's next month

Last auctioned four decades ago, one of Claude Monet’s Water Lilies (c1914-17) paintings could fetch £20million at Sotheby’s next month

Last at auction more than four decades ago and not exhibited since 1995, the painting – from an illustrious Japanese collection – is expected to provoke fierce competition, with estimates putting the sale at between £15m and £20m. Also in the lot is a version of Magritte’s masterpiece The Empire of Lightsthat the Belgian artist offered to his muse Anne-Marie Gillion Crowet. On view in London at a February 22 pre-sale exhibition ahead of the March 2 auction; sothebys.com


Treasures of the Côte d’Azur residence of François and Betty Catroux

François Catroux and his wife Betty were an integral part of Paris’ glittering social scene in the 1970s: he was the glamorous decorator behind the mansions and grand apartments of Diane von Furstenberg and various Rothschilds; she was Yves Saint Laurent’s muse. This month, the entire contents of the couple’s elegant Côte d’Azur residence – decorated by Catroux (who died in 2020 aged 83) – will go on sale in a single sale auction organized by Sotheby’s. Comprised of around 100 lots, the collection reflects Catroux’s eclectic personal taste, spanning works by 20th-century artists such as Jean Cocteau, Luis Tomasello and Tom Wesselmann, as well as antiques and some of his own rare creations. . February 24, sothebys.com

1992 After Spring and Before Summer lounge chairs by Ron Arad (estimate €80,000 – €120,000)

1992 After Spring and Before Summer lounge chairs by Ron Arad (estimate €80,000 – €120,000)


A study of the British landscape

Collector-dealer Martyn Gregory has made a name for himself with Chinese commercial paintings, but it is the awe-inspiring landscapes of British artists that are most dear to him. Comprised primarily of works on paper, Gregory’s collection spans three centuries of moody skies, rolling hills and golden pastures, each telling the story of British art. Nearly 200 of these works are up for auction, with top lots expected to include a Georgian painting of Rochester Castle by Samuel Scott (£15,000-£25,000), Edward Dodwell’s The Phlegraean Fields (£12,000-£18,000) and a landscape by 20th century artist John Nash (£3,000-£5,000). The sale will also include a selection of portraits, still lifes and interiors, including those by Daniel Gardner. Portrait of the Drake family (£30,000-£50,000). March 10-24; christies.com

Christie's Dramas of Light and Land: Sale of the Martyn Gregory Collection of British Art includes William Green's Ruined Ash Tree in Rydale Park (estimate: £4,000-6,000)

Christie’s Dramas of Light and Land: Sale of the Martyn Gregory Collection of British Art includes William Green’s Ruined Ash Tree in Rydale Park (estimate: £4,000-6,000) © Christie’s

Rolling Landscape by John Nash (estimate £3,000-5,000)

Rolling Landscape by John Nash (estimate £3,000-5,000) © Christie’s


The best Bentley ever

Bentley would have gone bankrupt in the first year of the Great Depression had it not been for Rolls-Royce, which came to its rescue by buying the company in 1931 (it’s now owned by Volkswagen). The first car to be produced under its new owner was the Derby Bentley, a much-loved vehicle that became popular with the interwar elite and was nicknamed the Silent Sports Car for its silent noise. The very first edition 3.5-litre Sports Tourer that rolled off the production line in 1933 (gloss black with sky blue leather interior) will go on sale at Bonham’s Amelia Island auction in Florida on March 3. This particular vehicle has garnered much praise from top autophiles who have tested it: 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Earl Howe called it “one of the most wonderful pleasures I have had for a very long time”. (Estimate $400,000) The Amelia Island Auction at Fernandina Beach Golf Club, Amelia Island, Fla., March 3; bonhams.com

A 1933 Bentley 3.5-liter Sports Tourer is for sale in Florida next month (estimate $400,000)

A 1933 Bentley 3.5-liter Sports Tourer is for sale in Florida next month (estimate $400,000) © Bonhams


Chinese snuffboxes from the Rachelle R Holden collection

The first snuffbox bought by Rachelle R Holden dates back to 1974, more than 300 years after their popularity in China (Europeans preferred to store their powdered tobacco in boxes). A lover of delicate calligraphy and tactile masonry, Holden went on to collect Chinese snuffboxes from several notable eras, including one bearing the mark of the Qianlong Emperor (1736-1795). This, along with over 100 other examples, will go on sale in New York next month, marking a recent surge in demand for these complex vessels. Particularly beautiful are bottles carved from Yixing sandstone ($60,000-$80,000), black and white jade ($80,000-$120,000), and intricately ornate agate ($10,000-$15,000) – the latter probably dates back to the imperial workshops of the Qing dynasty. March 24; christies.com

A 19th century multicolored glass snuffbox from Yangzhou (estimate €22,000-€31,000)

19th century multicolored glass snuffbox from Yangzhou (estimate €22,000-31,000) © Christie’s

A very rare enamelled glass snuffbox from the imperial workshop of the Qianlong Emperor from the 18th century (estimate €360,000-530,000)

A very rare enamelled glass snuffbox from the imperial workshop of the Qianlong Emperor in the 18th century (estimate €360,000-530,000) © Christie’s

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