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22 May 2014  |  New York, Rockefeller Center   |  PRINT  |  PDF
For Immediate Release

CHRISTIE’S NEW YORK PRESENTS AN AMERICAN DYNASTY: THE CLARK FAMILY TREASURES SALE

 

FULL SALE CATALOGUE NOW OPEN FOR BROWSING

 

  • HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED JUNE 18 AUCTION FEATURES FINE ART, RARE BOOKS AND GILDED AGE FURNISHINGS FROM THE ESTATE OF AMERICAN HEIRESS HUGUETTE M. CLARK

 

  • HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE THE “KREUTZER” STRADIVARI VIOLIN RECOVERED FROM A CLOSET IN THE CLARK FAMILY APARTMENT ON FIFTH AVENUE, ESTIMATED AT US$7.5 – 10 MILLION 

NEW YORK - On the heels of Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale on May 6, at which paintings by Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir from the Estate of Huguette M. Clark fetched US$40.9 million, Christie’s is pleased to unveil further offerings from its June 18 auction of An American Dynasty: The Clark Family Treasures. With 357 lots in total, the day-long auction will feature an impressive selection of American and 19th Century Art, important musical instruments, a veritable library of rare first-edition books, Gilded Age furnishings, and numerous decorative items owned by Huguette Clark, her mother Anna, and her father Senator William A. Clark. Christie’s has been entrusted with the sale of the collection by the Honorable Ethel J. Griffin, New York County’s Public Administrator, who oversees the estate. The proceeds from the auctions will benefit the Clark Estate and its goal of establishing a charitable foundation devoted to arts and culture.

As one of the most anticipated events of the spring auction season, the upcoming sale features numerous never before-seen treasures from the family collection that are emblematic of the Clark’s refined lifestyle and their position among the wealthiest American families of the early 20th Century. Among the star fine art lots of the sale is John Singer Sargent’s Girl Fishing (illustrated below; estimate: $3 – 5 million) and William Merritt Chase’s jewel-like A Water Fountain in Prospect Park, believed to have been a gift direct from the artist to W.A. Clark (illustrated below; estimate: $500,000 – 700,000). Personal items include formal painted portraits of Senator Clark and Anna Clark, opera glasses used by Huguette and her mother Anna for attending the theater, a 328-piece American silver flatware service for entertaining, monogrammed dressing sets by Cartier and Tiffany & Co., and a selection of early 20th century Cartier picture frames. 

As part of the preview exhibition for the auction, Christie’s will also unveil a selection of never-before-seen paintings by Huguette Clark, an accomplished artist in her own right. The sale features 17 full-size oil-on-canvas paintings by the copper mining heiress, including still-lifes, cityscapes, and self-portraits created in the sunlit art studio she maintained in her Fifth Avenue apartment.

A truly exceptional feature of the Clark Family collection is the spectacular Stradivari violin known as “The Kreutzer”. Executed circa 1731, the instrument was named for Rodolphe Kreutzer (1766-1831), the great French violinist, who is perhaps best known as the dedicatee of Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 9, Opus 47, also known as the Kreutzer Sonata. Celebrated as a violin virtuoso, composer, and teacher, Kreutzer left behind a great body of work including nineteen violin concertos and forty operas. As a founding member of the Conservatoire de Paris, he set the standard for the French school of violin performance and his 42 Études ou Caprices remain the fundamental teaching tool for all violin performance to this day.  Kreutzer owned and played his namesake Stradivari from about 1795 until his death in 1831, when he bequeathed it to his protégée, the violinist and teacher Joseph Lambert Massart. It later passed through important collections in France until its purchase in 1920 by W.A. and Anna Clark for their then-teenaged daughter Huguette Clark, who was already an accomplished student of both music and painting. The pleased parents heralded the purchase of the legendary Kreutzer with a telegram to Huguette from Paris reading “Darling…bought you the most wonderful violin in the world”.

The Kreutzer will be sold via a special sealed bid auction timed to run in parallel to Christie’s saleroom auction of the Collection, with bidding opening on Friday, June 6. For further details on the Kreutzer Stradivari and the bidding process, please visit www.christies.com/kreutzer. Full sale catalogue now available for browsing online at www.christies.com

Press preview: Friday, June 13 at 10am

Public exhibition: Saturday, June 14 through Tuesday, June 17, 10am – 5pm

Auction (live and online): Wednesday, June 18 at 10am

Christie’s, 20 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY

Related Sale Sale 3479
An American Dynasty: The Clark Family Treasures
18 June 2014
New York, Rockefeller Plaza


Related Departments 19th Century Furniture & Sculpture American Art American Furniture & Decorative Arts



About Christie’s
Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction and private sales in the first half of 2014 that totaled £2.69 / $4.47 billion, making it the highest half year total in Christie’s history. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's has since conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers around 450 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery. Private sales in the first half of 2014 totalled £498.9 million ($828.2 million).

Christie’s has a global presence with 53 offices in 32 countries and 12 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Mumbai. More recently, Christie’s has led the market with expanded initiatives in growth markets such as Russia, China, India and the United Arab Emirates, with successful sales and exhibitions in Beijing, Mumbai and Dubai.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and do not reflect costs, financing fees or application of buyer’s or seller’s credits.

Complete catalogue available online at www.christies.com or via Christie’s Mobile, iPhone, iPad and Android apps.
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