On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee.
Where Christie's has provided a Minimum Price Guarantee it is at risk of making a loss, which can be significant, if the lot fails to sell. Christie's therefore sometimes chooses to share that risk with a third party. In such cases the third party agrees prior to the auction to place an irrevocable written bid on the lot. The third party is therefore committed to bidding on the lot and, even if there are no other bids, buying the lot at the level of the written bid unless there are any higher bids. In doing so, the third party takes on all or part of the risk of the lot not being sold. If the lot is not sold, the third party may incur a loss. In most cases, Christie’s compensates the third party in exchange for accepting this risk with remuneration based on a fixed fee if the third party is the successful bidder or, if the third party is not the successful bidder, either a fixed fee or an amount calculated against the lot’s hammer price. The third party may also bid for the lot above the written bid. Where the third party is the successful bidder, Christie’s will report the final purchase price net of the fixed financing fee for taking on the guarantee risk.
Third party guarantors are required by us to disclose to anyone they are advising their financial interest in any lots they are guaranteeing. However, for the avoidance of any doubt, if you are advised by or bidding through an agent on a lot identified as being subject to a third party guarantee you should always ask your agent to confirm whether or not he or she has a financial interest in relation to the lot. This is a lot where Christie’s holds a direct financial guarantee interest that is backed by a third party’s irrevocable bid.
Please note the following additional literature for this work:
H.K. Stratis, "A Technical Investigation of Odilon Redon's Pastels and Noirs" in The Book and Paper Group, vol. 14, 1995 (illustrated, fig. 6; titled Figure Holding a Winged Head).
G. Del Canton, "Le 'chevalier mystique' di Odilon Redon: slittamenti e incroci iconografici" in Artibus et Historiae, no. 55, 2007, pp. 190-191 (illustrated in color, p. 191, fig. 18; titled La Chute d'Icare or Ange portant une tête).
S. Heraeus, "The Dream as an Artistic Strategy" in Odilon Redon: As in a Dream, exh. cat., Frankfurt, Shirn Kunsthalle, 2007, p. 71.
Property from the Rothschild Art Foundation
For the investor, philanthropist, and collector Stanford Z. Rothschild, Jr., life was a never-ending opportunity for exploration and discovery. Across his ninety-one years, Stan cultivated a reputation as a fiercely intellectual and generous man with a passion for culture and community.
Stanford Z. Rothschild, Jr. was the son of prominent Baltimore insurance executive Stanford Z. Rothschild, Sr. and his wife, the philanthropist, Marie Rothschild. Since the late nineteenth century, the family has championed civic leadership in their Maryland community. Marie Rothschild, in particular, was known as a stalwart supporter of causes such as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Sinai Hospital—where she was the first woman to serve on the board of directors—the Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, and the American Red Cross—where Marie spearheaded the de-segregation of blood donation during the Second World War. “My grandma was a primary inspiration for our interest in making the world a better place,” noted David Rothschild, son of Stanford Z. Rothschild, Jr. “She made it clear that when you are privileged enough to not have to worry about providing for yourself or your family, there is a fundamental responsibility to ‘make the world a better place’.”
Marie Rothschild would pass on her dedication to helping others to her son, who utilized his success in business and his love of fine art for the public good. A graduate of City College and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, Stan served as an officer in the United States Navy before joining his family’s Sun Life Insurance Company, where he rose to President and CEO. After selling Sun Life in 1971, the collector founded The Rothschild Company to focus his energies on investing, a field that had always captured his imagination. At his investment management firm, the collector was known for his keen intelligence and commitment to innovation—qualities that earned him not only prodigious success, but also the respect of his colleagues. In recounting her father’s progressive mentality towards investing and collecting, his daughter, Ellen Rothschild Dame, recalls Stan “pouring over the book Art as Investment in the late 1960s, which acted as a catalyst for some of his earliest purchases, such as the Kandinsky and the Monets. As he developed his understanding of art as an asset, his passion for learning about the origin and historical significance of the work itself blossomed.”
Enthralled with artists and the creative process, Stan assembled a striking collection of paintings, sculpture, and works on paper by master figures of the art historical canon. He was especially drawn to artists whose work was both intellectually rigorous and historically provocative, namely El Greco, Claude Monet, Robert Delaunay, Camille Pissarro, and Russian artists of the twentieth century. During his lifetime, Stan amassed one of the largest, privately owned collections of Russian avant-garde art in the United States. Through personal scholarship and in conversation with art historians and curators, he honed his unique connoisseurial vision, and could speak at length about the fascinating philosophical and social histories behind each work. For Stan art was a rich, challenging source of inspiration—a means of interacting with the ideas and individuals that shaped the world. “He would have people come to the house to talk about the art,” David said of his father. “He loved to give tours and talk about the art. It was not only about the beauty—it was about the purpose, the political meaning, and the intent. It was beyond the aesthetic.”
Stan approached philanthropy in the same way that he approached collecting: with energy, dedication, and a desire to foster and acquire inspiration. For him, giving was an opportunity to think more broadly about improving communities through bold thinking; his philanthropic reach extended across the arts, education, political advocacy, and Jewish causes. To this end, he sold major works of art to fund his eponymous charitable foundations and gifted pieces to institutions, including the Baltimore Museum of Art. In recent years, a meaningful portion of proceeds from The Rothschild Art Foundation’s sale of Russian artworks expanded its annual giving capability and has supported major gifts to charities such as Central Scholarship, enabling greater college and vocational access in Maryland and beyond. With the proceeds from some of his most beloved works, including major pictures by Redon, Monet, and Delaunay, the Rothschild Art Foundation is poised to significantly expand its impact throughout the United States and catalyze major change in areas of education, entrepreneurship, and civic activism. As David explained of his family’s philosophy toward giving, “one of the greatest joys in life is being generous and working to make the world better for others.”
Today, his children David Rothschild and Ellen Rothschild Dame, together with the extended Rothschild family, continue to champion the art and causes that shaped the life of Stanford Z. Rothschild, Jr. Benevolent, innovative, and intellectual, Stan represents the best in American philanthropy and entrepreneurship. Like the artwork he collected and cherished deeply, the legacy of Stanford Z. Rothschild will leave a lasting impression on and enrich the lives of those who benefit from his philanthropic spirit for many years to come.