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Alexandre Benois (1870-1960)
Alexandre Benois (1870-1960)
Alexandre Benois (1870-1960)
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Alexandre Benois (1870-1960)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF BARNETT AND SYLVIA SHINE
Alexandre Benois (1870-1960)

Six costume designs for 'La bohème'

Details
Alexandre Benois (1870-1960)
Six costume designs for 'La bohème'
four signed with initials 'AB', one signed 'Alex/Benois', all inscribed with production details and numbered
pencil, watercolour, gouache and ink on paper; two framed as one
9 ½ x 6 ¼ in. (24.2 x 16 cm.)
Executed in 1946
Provenance
Jay Pomeroy (1895-1955), London.
Acquired from the above by Barnett and Sylvia Shine in London in the 1960s.
By descent to the present owners.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Alexis de Tiesenhausen
Alexis de Tiesenhausen

Lot Essay

On 12th June 1946, the Cambridge London Opera Company presented their production of the celebrated four-part opera La bohème by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924). The opera was performed at the Cambridge Theatre in London and was produced by Dino Borgioli (1891- 1960). Borgioli’s production comprised an essentially traditional take on Puccini’s original composition but with certain novel reworkings which were positively received by critics. His scenery and costumes, created by the official décor and costume designer Alexandre Benois, were particularly lauded. The performance raised in excess of £2,500 for the Returned British Prisoners of War Association and was enjoyed by Princess Elizabeth, the future Queen Elizabeth II. On 19th April 1948, to the great excitement of those involved, the opera was broadcast on the BBC in the first ever operatic televising at the Cambridge Theatre.
The owner of both the opera company and the theatre that staged Borgioli’s production was the successful Crimean impresario Jay Pomeroy (Joseph Pomeranz), who had originally made his fortune in the whisky business. Both during the Second World War and in its immediate aftermath, he played a significant part in enlivening London’s cultural scene. Between the years 1946 and 1948 he orchestrated numerous Italian operas, which posed a direct challenge to Covent Garden Opera House and which were frequently considered to be of superior musical and theatrical quality.
Pomeroy commissioned these impressive costume designs specifically for Borgioli’s La bohème. The works remained in his private collection until the 1960s when they were acquired by Pomeroy’s friends, Barnett and Sylvia Shine.

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