The first winter auctions highlight massive color jewels and private collections, though at present, its focal point is Asian hue. Right off, two collections of Sir Joseph Hotung and the descendants of the mysterious V.W.S., will present superb antiquities from China and Japan.

Mаgnificent Jewels

7 december, New York | Sotheby’s

Auction houses continue to cash in on massive color jewels after the all-time high sale of “Williamson Pink Star“ for $57.7 mil this autumn. In early winter, Sotheby’s offered for sale its yellow unsurpassed counterpart the “Golden Canary”, a pear-like giant, weighing 303.1 carats, with an estimate of $15 mil. The diamond has its exciting story: the stone was discovered by a girl in a pile of rubble in Congo in the 1980s. Later, the diamond was cut into 15 finished stones and the largest one, weighing 407 carats, was named “Incomparable”. The latter was recut into the present-day “Сanary”.

Hotung | The Personаl Collection of the lаte Sir Joseph

7-8 december, London | Sotheby’s

Sir Joseph Hotung, a grandson of the prominent businessman and collector Roberts Hotung, took after his ancestor and stood out as a prominent collector of variation painting, Asian decorativeapplied art and philanthrope. Although he lived mostly in London, and it is from his London house that the collection of more than 400 lots is sold out today. The focus of the collection is a carved bed with a baldachin which belongs to the XVII century Ming dynasty period (£500,000‒800,000), “Portrait of Eugene Manet” by Edgar Degas (£4‒6 million), a male portrait by Frans Hals (£600,000‒800,000), a couple of neo-classical chandeliers from the renowned silver dining set, the artwork of Robert-Joseph.

Old Mаsters

7 december, London | Bonhams

Well up and regaining its power, the British auction house Bonhams dedicates its London sales entirely to masterpieces of Dutch and Flemish masters of XVII‒XVIII centuries. The auction house unveiled its top lot, a painting by one of the most remarkable masters of genre painting, David Teniers the Younger “Interior of a laboratory with an Alchemist at work and a stuffed iguana”, presented at exhibitions in many European museums. Its estimate is from £300,000 to £500,000. One more celebrated participant of the auction is the landscapist Anthonie Verstraelen, who gained his glory after the Bruegels by delightful urban winter pictures of people, enjoying their leisure time. The pastel landscape estimates from £80,000 to £150,000.

From Beijing to Versailles, the V.W.S. collection

13-14 december, Paris | Christie’s

The initials V.W.S. in the label of the auction represent, evidently, the name of the owner of a huge collection of antiquities, at the Christie’s sale. The auction house keeps the name of the collector in secret and presents scarce information: Russian, having escaped because of political repression in the Tzar Empire from the country with his family in 1903 to Chinese Harbin, where he developed his own business and in the 1930s started his collection of Asian art. In the 1960s his descendants moved to Paris and today, they are determined, at last, to sell out the collection, enriched by the European decorative-applied аrt works and furniture. The top lots feature Chinese jade vases and ceremonial bowels of the XVIII century (€300,000–500,000).

Old Mаsters

7 december, London | Sotheby’s

Mediative landscapes, marines and still lives by Italian, Dutch and Flemish masters of the XVII–XVIII centuries became a passion for the Spanish collector Juan Manuel Grasset. His huge collection was rarely exhibited, but today it is epicentral in the coming sales, and its greatest overhype. One of the main masterpieces by Canaletto (£3–5 million), features a legendary Venetian overview of Grand Canal palaces, the painting, bought by Duke of Kent in the 1730s from the studio of the painter. The auction battles are expected on sale of a still life set, suggesting a line to trace back the subtle movements of the genre within a couple of centuries in the art works of such masters as Floris van Dyk, Jan Davidsz de Heem, Willem Claesz Heda.

Photo: Sotheby’s, Christie’s, Bonhams