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  • Press release
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  • New York
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  • For immediate release
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  • 27 March 2019

RELEASE: The Arrogant Eye: Prints From The Collection Of The Late Larry Saphire

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)Tête de jeune filleetching, 1924$30,000-50,000

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Tête de jeune fille

etching, 1924

$30,000-50,000

Joan Miró (1893-1983)Série noire et rouge: one plateetching in red, 1938$20,000-30,000

Joan Miró (1893-1983)

Série noire et rouge: one plate

etching in red, 1938

$20,000-30,000

New York – On 18 April Christie’s will hold an intriguing auction entitled The Arrogant Eye: Prints from The Collection of The Late Larry Saphire as part of the Prints & Multiples auction. The collection includes over 150 works on paper by modern masters such as Picasso, Braque, Miro, Matisse, Dalí, Chagall, Léger, Ernst, Giacometti, Matta, and Masson. Larry Saphire is best known for being the author of the catalogue raisonnés of the prints of Fernand Leger and Andre Masson, compiled whilst running the Blue Moon Gallery in New York. Larry was a Renaissance man and the quintessential collector-dealer. His extensive knowledge of the print medium meant he could spot a diamond in the rough and acquire art that he loved. His wife Tricia Saphire observed that “[Larry’s] cordiality, his avuncular camaraderie, his intellect, mantled his acquisitive passion. If it was good, or rare he wanted to own it. The nominal properties that endow art with value, its signature, its provenance, the arcana that fascinate galleries…were a sideline to his appraisal.”

Prints from the Saphire collection will be on public view in Christie’s Rockefeller galleries from 13 - 17 April. In addition, works on paper from his collection will be sold in the Impressionist & Modern Works on Paper sale on 14 May and in the Picasso Ceramics online auction.

Richard Lloyd, International Head of Prints & Multiples: “It is highly likely that any enthusiast of twentieth century prints and drawings active over the last few decades will have encountered Larry Saphire - either in person or by benefiting from the expertise contained in his monographs on Léger and Masson. Larry’s knowledge and passion made him a formidable operator in the saleroom and a considerable resource of information. The depth and breadth of his interests was a rare thing indeed. His passing may mark the end of an era.”

Highlights from the collection include Tête de jeune fille, an etching from 1924 by Salvador Dalí that is thought to be the only surviving example ($30-50,000), a plate from Joan Miró’s Série noire et rouge, an etching in red from 1938 ($20-30,000) and a hand colored work by Roberto Matta Par la bait-naître ($2-3,000). Two highlights from the collection that will be offered in May are Fernand Léger’s Femme à la feuille ($18-25,000) and André Masson’s Le Philosophe ($15-20,000).

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi, 2017), for a single collection sale (the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, 2018), and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019).

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.