Highlights of the auction season are rarely seen in public or never before exhibited works of art from the 20th and 21st centuries. From modernist pieces of art by Chagall to sculptures by Lalanne.

Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own
September, 6–12, London

The legendary musician Freddie Mercury died back in 1991, but only now his heirs have decided to sell off relics and personal belongings of the former leader of the Queen. The series of auctions will last a week in London and will begin on September 6 with an evening auction featuring recordings of the performer’s lyrics, stage costumes, valuable artwork, and personalized jewelry.

Claude Lalanne. Pomme de Londres. 2007

Trésor Retrouvé | Collection Claude & François Xavier Lalanne
October 4, Paris 

The excitement of the legacy sale of the legendary art duo Les Lalanne — French sculptors and designers Claude and François Xavier Lalanne — at Sotheby’s in 2019 has not yet calmed down, as the house is once again announcing a sale of their creations. Today they are presented as “newly found” treasures: according to the legend voiced by the auctioneers, a secret vault with two dozen of their objects was recently discovered in the couple’s house in Ury, France. There are unique things — for example, a twisted grill grate (€80–100 thousand), and the author’s copies of limited-edition items, from chairs to sculptures.

Arman. Bacchus. 2004

Modern & Contemporary Discoveries
September 14, Cologne

Two of Sotheby’s new auction lines are dedicated to works of art that have never before or very rarely shown in public. One is dedicated to modernism, the other to contemporary art. The house holds these specialized auctions in all its branches, but for the auction in Cologne it decided to combine them under the title “Modern & Contemporary Discoveries.” Hence the variety of lots, where the hit list includes a charcoal drawing by Gustav Klimt (€35–45 thousand), an assemblage by Martin Kippenberger (€40–60 thousand), and the Bacchus, a sculpture by Arman (€15–20 thousand).

Brussels Tapestry. America. Design by Lodewijk van Schoor. Early 18th century

Collection Galerie Chevalier
October 10, Paris

For more than forty years, Paris-based Galerie Chevalier has been associated by collectors and museum owners around the world with rare historical tapestries from leading Belgian and French manufactories of the 16th and 18th centuries, European and Oriental carpets and archaeological textiles, and collaborations with contemporary artists in the field of weaving. Its owners decided today to share part of their personal collection with admirers of medieval and baroque tapestries and put up for sale about two dozen luxurious artworks, replete with fairy-tale bestiaries, mythological and religious scenes, exotic subjects. Prices vary from 20 to 200 thousand euros.

Mohamed Melehi. Constitution in Puzzle B. 2013

Moroccan & African Spirit
November 4, Marrakech

The Parisian auction house Artcurial was invited to hold its own auction in an unusual location — Morocco’s Marrakech. It is here that one of the greatest collectors of contemporary African art lives, who over the past two decades has managed to collect the most important works of the continent’s biggest names on the international art scene. The assembly’s emphasis is on abstraction that is understandable anywhere on the planet. Among the highlights on the list are Mohamed Melehi’s huge mixed-media work Constitution in Puzzle B (€70–100 thousand) and Abdelkebir Rabi’s Composition (€28–36 thousand). 

Marc Chagall. Amoureux à l’arc en ciel. 1984

Marc Chagall
Until September 15, Monaco

The monographic exhibition and sale at Sotheby’s in Monaco is this time entirely dedicated to Marc Chagall. More specifically, his French period of life in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, where he spent the last twenty years of his life. The selection of twenty-two paintings and drawings features all of the artist’s emblematic themes, from an embracing pair of lovers and explosive bouquets to birds and biblical stories. The last theme is represented by the painting Bearing the Cross (Porteur de croix), sold last year at the auction Kornfeld for 280 thousand Swiss francs. Today, the price is on request.

Photo: Sothebys.com, Drouot.com, Artcurial.com