The allure of Lauren Bacall: every lot in her collection sells at Bonhams New York

Bacall portrait

New York – Dopo due giorni tutti i 740 lotti della Lauren Bacall Collection sono stati venduti, per un totale di £ 2.45m ($ 3.64m).

Comprese due sculture in bronzo dell’artista britannico, Henry Moore, vendute all’asta Impressionist and Modern del novembre scorso presso la sede Bonhams di Londra a New Bond Street, il risultato finale per l’intera Lauren Bacall Collection è di £ 3.4m (5 milioni di dollari). Più di 1.500 offerenti provenienti da 34 paesi hanno preso parte all’asta di più alto profilo della stagione Bonhams. Sono stati venduti quasi tutti gli oggetti collezionati dall’attrice nel grande appartamento del Dakota Building di New York.

Dakota Building - New York
Dakota Building – New York

John King, che ha diretto la vendita ed era amico di Bacall, ha commentato: “Siamo stati orgogliosi di assistere all’entusiasmo che ha suscitato quest’asta. Il gusto e un po’ del carattere di Lauren Bacall vivranno ora nelle case dei suoi innumerevoli ammiratori.

Qui di seguito una galleria di alcuni dei lotti in asta.

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New York – After a two-day, 20-hour marathon auction at Bonhams New York, all 740 lots of the Lauren Bacall Collection were sold, totaling £2.45m ($3.64m).

With two bronze sculptures by British artist, Henry Moore, which sold in November’s Impressionist and Modern auction at Bonhams New Bond Street, the final result for the entire Lauren Bacall Collection is £3.4m ($5m).

More than 1,500 bidders from 34 countries took part in the highest profile auction of the season at Bonhams. The actress, who passed away in August 2014, lived in a spacious 4,000 sq. ft. apartment in New York’s Dakota Building where almost every item in the auction was on display.

Jon King, Director and Vice President at Bonhams, orchestrated the sale, and was a friend of Bacall. He said: ‘We have been humbled by the worldwide outpouring of enthusiasm for this sale. Bacall’s legacy will live on in the homes of her countless admirers.’

Top lots include:

American White Pelican, an 1836 hand-coloured engraving by artist and naturalist, John James Audubon, which realised £95,000 ($173,000), almost three times its high estimate of £40,400 ($60,000). The work is from the Havell edition of The Birds of America, a book of illustrations by Audubon published between 1827 and 1838.

Two landscapes by Albert York (American, 1926-2009), titled Landscape with Trees; and A Country Fence, which achieved a world record for the artist, selling for £88,000 ($161,000).

Three-Quarter Mother and Child, a bronze sculpture by Henry Moore, which sold for £62,200 ($118,750), more than three times its high estimate.

Gabrielle (1993), a sculpture by Robert Graham, which sold for £31,000 ($57,500), soaring past its high estimate.

An amethyst, turquoise and diamond ring by Jean Schlumberger which achieved £28,400 ($52,500) against an estimate of £5,400-8,000 ($8,000-12,000).

Bonhams: The Lauren Bacall Collection. London 15 February 2015

Annex - Bacall, Lauren_15

Una sorprendente collezione d’arte e gioielli raccolta dalla celebre attrice di cinema e teatro, Lauren Bacall, in anteprima a Londra 15-19 febbraio prima di andare in asta da Bonhams a New York il 31 marzo e il 1 aprile 2015.

Molti dei 750 lotti in asta hanno arredato le tre residenze della Bacall: la casa di Los Angeles che condivideva con il suo primo marito, Humphrey Bogart, la sua casa di campagna ad Amagansett, New York, e il suo appartamento a New York, il famoso The Dakota, che domina Central Park, che ha condiviso con il secondo marito, Jason Robards fino al 1969.

Caratterizzano questa anteprima sei bozzetti in bronzo di Henry Moore, il più grande scultore inglese del XX secolo e uno degli artisti preferiti della attrice. Loren Bacall ha cominciato ad apprezzare le opere di Moore all’inizio del 1950, quando viveva a Los Angeles. Dopo averlo finalmente incontrato nel suo studio nel 1975, dichiarò di aver realizzato un sogno.

Oltre a Moore sono esposte le sculture in bronzo di un altro artista,  lo scultore americano, Robert Graham, le cui opere hanno sempre affascinato Lauren Bacall. In modo particolare per  il realismo espresso dalle figure femminili e di cui queste tre sculture (le “ragazze”) sono un esempio. Robert Graham era sposato con amica vicina alla Bacall, Anjelica Huston.

Saranno esposte inoltre stampe contemporanee e moderne di David Hockney, Jim Dine, Richard Avedon, Henry Moore e John James Audubon e dipinti di Sir Noel Coward, Aaron Shikler e Georges Wakhevitch.

Si potranno veder inoltre alcuni tra i più amati gioielli della attrice, creati da Jean Schlumberger.

Jon King, Vice Presidente e Direttore del Business Development di Bonhams, ha commentato: “Bonhams è lieta di condividere con il pubblico una rara prospettiva del mondo di Lauren Bacall. La sua collezione è un vero e proprio esempio della sua straordinaria passione per l’arte e il gusto e testimonia la straordinaria esistenza di una donna speciale”.

Lauren Bacall, vero nome Betty Joan Perske, nacque a Brooklyn nel 1924. Ha frequentato l’American Academy of Dramatic Arts, accanto ad attori come Kirk Douglas. Fu grazie ad una foto in copertina sulla rivista Harper’s che il regista Howard Hawks la notò. Hawks le cambiò il nome in Lauren e la fece esordire giovanissima accanto a uno dei mostri sacri di Hollywood, Humphrey Bogart, nel film Acque del Sud (1944), tratto dal romanzo Avere e non avere di Ernest Hemingway (più tardi, dopo la morte di Bogart, conobbe personalmente Hemingway, stringendo con il famoso scrittore e sua moglie una profonda amicizia).

Fu proprio sul set di questo film che tra Bogart e la Bacall, appena diciannovenne, nacque l’amore e, nonostante l’attore avesse venticinque anni più di lei, fu un sentimento molto profondo, che le lasciò un segno indelebile. Bogart fu l’unico amore della sua vita, come ebbe lei stessa a dire molte volte e al quale rimase accanto fino alla morte. I due si sposarono nel 1945 e dal matrimonio nacquero due figli, Stephen (1949) e Leslie (1952).

Il 14 novembre 2009 le è stato conferito il premio Oscar alla carriera dalla Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. È scomparsa il 12 agosto 2014 a seguito di un ictus, circa un mese prima del suo novantesimo compleanno


An astonishing art and jewellery collection assembled by acclaimed actress of stage and screen, Lauren Bacall, who died in August 2014 will be previewed in London from 15 – 19 February, before it is auctioned at Bonhams New York on 31 March and 1 April. Highlights of the collection, including works by some of the greatest artists of the 20th century, can be seen at the Bonhams headquarters, 101 New Bond Street. The opening hours are 9am – 4.30pm, and admission is free.

London is one stop on an international tour which takes in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Paris and New York, and the selection features jewellery, decorative arts, tribal works of art and prints as well as paintings and sculptures. Many of the 750 lots to be auctioned graced three of Bacall’s residences: the Los Angeles house she shared with her first husband, Humphrey Bogart, her country home in Amagansett, New York, and her apartment in New York’s famed The Dakota, overlooking Central Park, which she shared with second husband, Jason Robards until 1969.

Heading the preview are six bronze maquettes by Henry Moore, Britain’s greatest 20th century sculptor and one of Bacall’s favourite artists. Bacall’s deep admiration of Moore began in the 1950s while she was living in Los Angeles. After finally meeting the sculptor at his studio in 1975, she wrote: ‘It was and will be ever a high point of my life … [it was the] realization of a dream.’

Also included in the highlight exhibition are bronze sculptures by noted American artist, Robert Graham, whose works fascinated Lauren Bacall. She was captivated by the precise realism and bold expression of the female form in Graham’s work and referred to these three sculptures as her “girls”. Robert Graham was married to Bacall’s close friend, Anjelica Huston.

Contemporary and modern prints by David Hockney, Jim Dine, Richard Avedon, Henry Moore and John James Audubon as well as paintings by the legendary Sir Noel Coward, Aaron Shikler, Georges Wakhevitch will also be featured.

Some of the actress’s best loved jewellery pieces, created by designer Jean Schlumberger, will be on display with other items including an 18-carat yellow gold, enamel, cultured pearl, and rose diamond Mogul-inspired camel brooch by British jeweller, Elizabeth Gage. This piece is accompanied by the original drawing and correspondence showing the extent of the collaboration and friendship between the jeweller and the client.

Jon King, Vice President and Director of Business Development at Bonhams, said: ‘Bonhams is delighted to share with the public a rare insight into the world of Lauren Bacall, the accomplished collector. Her collection is a truly a reflection of her extraordinary taste and remarkable life.’

BRIEF BIOGRAPHY

Lauren Bacall was born Betty Joan Perske in Brooklyn in 1924. She attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, alongside Kirk Douglas, and supported herself by working as an usherette and a model. It was her work in modeling which led to her breakthrough: she was spotted by Diana Vreeland, then fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar. Bacall soon appeared on the cover of Harper’s, catching the attention of the celebrated director, Howard Hawks.

Hawks changed Bacall’s name to Lauren and took a change on the inexperienced starlet, casting her in his adaption of Hemingway’s tale, To Have and Have Not. The 19-year-old Bacall was so nervous that her head shook involuntarily, so she tilted her chin down to steady herself, with the result that she looked up from under at the camera. Her unusual style of delivery, combined with the script’s innuendo, was to prove a winning combination.

The public was hooked on the chemistry between Bacall and Bogart, and the studio took advantage, casting them together in Key Largo, The Big Sleep and Dark Passage. The couple married in 1945, had two children, and remained married until Bogart’s death in 1957. Bacall later had a third child with her second husband, Jason Robards.

Bacall also became an accomplished stage actress, receiving great acclaim for her work in Cactus Flower, Applause, and Woman of the Year. She continued acting in movies as well, and appeared in more than 30, including How to Marry a Millionaire and Murder on the Orient Express. The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996) – on which Barbra Streisand was director, producer and star – earned Bacall a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination. In 2009, Bacall collected an Oscar in recognition of ‘her central place in the golden age of motion pictures.’

Lauren Bacall died in August 2014, aged 89.