Christie’s is delighted to announce that The Exceptional Sale will be led by an exquisite drawing of the head of a bear by Leonardo da Vinci, one of a very small number of sheets by the artist in private hands. The work is a precious example of Leonardo’s scientific interest, sensitivity to the natural world, exceptional gifts of observation, and unmatched mastery as a draughtsman.
Other early highlights for The Exceptional Sale include a wonder of horology, an orrery clock designed by Jacques-Thomas Castel, conseiller-secrétaire to the King, and sold from the fabled Rothschild collection at Mentmore Towers; a ‘Gothick’ style library desk to a design by Thomas Chippendale; a silk damask hung four post bed by Giles Grendy; a precious amethyst vase mounted in ormolu by Duplessis; an exquisitely proportioned writing-table designed by Owen Jones and embodying the principles of Aesthetic design, and a magnificent silver and gold damascene ‘Alhambra’ vase by Plácido Zuloaga.
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‘You can almost hear the pen scratching over the surface’: Sir Isaac Newton’s revisions to his greatest work, the Principia