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Rare Portfolios Lead March Sale
On Thursday, March 2, Swann Galleries will hold an auction of 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings, offering rare portfolios by masters of the last two centuries.
The sale is led by two vibrant lithograph sets, each with additional and complementary works. The publisher’s own set of the rare deluxe edition of Marc Chagall’s Arabian Nights, 1948, boasts an additional thirteenth lithograph showing the King and Scheherazade under the guardianship of a glowing bird; it is expected to sell between $250,000 and $350,000. Also available is the complete set of Édouard Vuillard’s 1899 Paysages et Intérieurs. Already scarce, this portfolio of 13 color lithographs is enhanced by additional impressions of two of the plates, bringing the total number of works to 15. The set in its entirety is estimated at $150,000 to $200,000.
There is an excellent selection of vibrant works by nineteenth-century masters led by Pierre Bonnard’s rare color lithograph, La Petite Blanchisseuse, 1896, and Mary Cassatt’s The Coiffure, circa 1891, a color drypoint and soft-ground etching ($50,000 to $80,000 and $40,000 to $60,000, respectively). A color lithograph by Pierre-Auguste Renoir titled Enfants Jouant à la Balle, circa 1900, is valued between $40,000 and $60,000. Also available is the fourth state of Edgar Degas’s lithograph, Femme nue debout à sa toilette, 1891-92, estimated at $50,000 to $80,000. The sale opens with 50 highlights from the collection of Eric Carlson, with works by masters including Eugène Delacroix, Paul Gauguin, Paul Signac and Félix Vallotton, as well as the complete set of Mélodies de Désiré Dihau, 1895, by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec ($30,000 to $50,000).
Of particular note is Egon Schiele’s first lithograph, the nude self-portrait Männlicher Akt (Selbstbildnis I), 1912, which is expected to fetch $20,000 to $30,000. Early twentieth century highlights continue with a charming pen and ink drawing by Paul Klee of bulls, titled Drama in der Kuhwelt, 1915, estimated at $25,000 to $35,000, and the rare woodcut Hafen Teufelsbrücke, 1911, by Kurt Schmidt-Rottluff, which has appeared at auction only three times in the last 30 years ($40,000 to $60,000).
A premiere selection of works by Pablo Picasso will be crossing the block: examples include the 1934 etching Femme torero, I, and the 1948 lithograph Femme au fauteuil, No. 1 ($50,000 to $80,000 and $40,000 to $60,000, respectively). These are joined by an original watercolor by Salvador Dalí titled Orologi Molli, 1960, previously in the Albaretto Collection in Turin and estimated at $70,000 to $100,000. Further highlights include the color aquatint La Permissionaire, 1974, by Joan Miró ($40,000 to $60,000), and one of 30 artist’s proofs of the deluxe portfolio with text of Le Corbusier’s Unité, 1953; there has been just one other complete set of 37 lithographs at auction in the last 30 years ($35,000 to $50,000). Also available are prints by Georges Braque, Giorgio de Chirico, René Magritte and Giorgio Morandi, bronze sculptures by Jean Arp, Brassaï, Dalí and Man Ray, and a wool tapestry designed by Henri Matisse titled Mimosa, 1951 ($7,000 to $10,000).
From the Americas comes a selection of early prints and artists’ proofs by James A.M. Whistler, led by the etching and drypoint Speke Hall: The Avenue, 1870-78, estimated at $50,000 to $80,000, as well as Evening Wind, 1921, an etching by Edward Hopper ($50,000 to $80,000). Martin Lewis’s 1932 aquatint Which Way? has appeared at auction only four times in the last 30 years; here it carries an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.
The auction will be held Thursday, March 2, beginning at 10:30 a.m. and continuing at 1:30 p.m. The auction preview will be open to the public Saturday, February 25 from noon to 5 p.m.; Monday, February 27 through Wednesday, March 1, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. An illustrated auction catalogue is available for $40 from Swann Galleries, Inc., 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or online at www.swanngalleries.com. For more information and to make advance arrangements to bid by telephone, please contact Todd Weyman at 212-254-4710, extension 32, or via e-mail at email@example.com.
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