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Bonhams | Laliqueglassware stars at Bonhams

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Lalique Sirenés’ clock, estimated at £20,000-25,000

The brilliant glasswork of René Lalique goes under the hammer at Bonhams, Knightsbridge

•From small scale perfume packaging to lavish vases

•An exquisite collection of Lalique clocks is topped by the ‘Sirenés’ whose large clock face boasts a relief of opalescent dancing nymphs

A fabulous array of Art Deco glass by the legendary French designer René Lalique is to go under the hammer at Bonhams Home and Interiors sale, on 21st September at Bonhams Knightsbridge saleroom.

Highlights include a magnificent ‘Balivase, designed by Lalique in 1930. The vase, moulded in a relief of birds in flight, has an estimate of £25,000-30,000. Also up for sale will be Lalique’s opalescent, frosted ‘Sirenés’ clock featuring nymph-like figures dancing around the large-scale clockface. The piece is estimated at £20,000-25,000.

René Lalique (1860-1945) was a celebrated figure of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements whose work was as highly fashionable during his lifetime as it is sought after today – by private collectors and interior designers alike.

Starting his career as a jewellery designer, Lalique won fame for the ground-breaking use of non-precious materials such as horn and glass. Later commissioned to produce perfume bottles for some of the leading companies of the day including Worth and Coty, experiments in packaging led to the development of the world-famous Lalique brand as it is known today.

Examples of the early Lalique perfume bottles are included in the auction, presenting an opportunity for first-time buyers to enter the Lalique market. For the more experienced collector there are decorative vases and statues in a variety of designs, many of them reflecting the vogue styles of Art Nouveau and Art Deco that characterised French taste in the pre-war period.

Gemma Mitchell, Bonhams’ specialist in 20th Century Decorative Arts said: “Since Bonhams pioneered the sale of Lalique in the 1980s, the designer’s sculpture has become an established feature of the London auction calendar. This upcoming sale features an exciting array of items personally designed by the great René Lalique prior to his death in 1945 including a number of rare examples; it is the legacy and inspiration of Rene’s work which maintains the popularity of the luxurious and celebrated Lalique brand today.”

Robert White Collection

This sale will boast around fifty items from Robert White’s wide collection of pre-war Lalique glassware – including several examples of the designer’s remarkable clocks and a rare pre-war example of the Bacchantes vase, estimated at £15,000-20,000. Other pieces from Robert White’s estate, including a lavish collection of Lalique motoring mascots, will be sold at Bonhams, New Bond Street, on the 19th September.

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Bonhams | Rare Warhol Painting of Mao to star at New Bond Street on 29 June

Andy Warhol, Mao,1973

Mao, 1973, by Andy Warhol, estimated at £580,000-780,000, will be offered at the Bonhams Post War and Contemporary Art sale on 29 June.


Bonhams will lead the Post-War and Contemporary Art season with a spectacular Andy Warhol painting of Chairman Mao, estimated at £580,000-780,000, to be offered at New Bond Street on 29 June.

The stunning, densely-textured painting comes fresh to the market having originally been handled by the artist’s legendary dealer Leo Castelli in the 1970s. The distinctive coloration and clarity of composition makes this arguably the finest of the series ever to appear at auction. Renowned as one of Warhol’s most significant, signature images, the Mao paintings feature in many of the world’s most prestigious public and private collections worldwide.

Warhol was transfixed by the People’s Republic of China in 1971. ‘I have been reading so much about China,’ he said at the time. ‘The only picture they ever have is of Mao Zedong. It’s great. It looks like a silkscreen.’ Inspired, Warhol made his first picture of the communist leader the following year. The Mao series is based on a photograph taken from the cover of The Thoughts of Chairman Mao – otherwise known as the Little Red Book, of which almost a billion copies were printed in China, leading to an acute paper shortage during the Cultural Revolution. During the early seventies, Warhol used to carry the Little Red Book around in his pocket. Eric Shiner, director of the Andy Warhol museum, describes the artist as ‘smitten with communism – with everyone wearing the same clothes and reading the same books’.

In the early 1970s, after a decade of screenprinting, Warhol returned to painting. His Maos tend to be more painterly than his earlier pop art, developing from the relentless replication of the 60s into more personalised, one-off works combining silkscreens with gestural painted additions. This particular piece has unusually thick impasto, with expressive brushwork in subtle blue hues and a halo of vivid scarlet interrupting the almost blinding vibrancy of the acid green background.

‘It is one of the finest – if not the finest – example of Warhol’s small format Maos out there,’ said Ralph Taylor, Senior Director for the Bonhams Post-War & Contemporary Art department. ‘It’s an absolute classic, brilliantly executed, with sterling provenance. Collectors who target the very best will find much to admire with this painting.’

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A dozen veteran cars head to Bonhams 101 New Bond Street headquarters, ready for the Brighton Run Sale

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A dozen veteran cars head to Bonhams 101 New Bond Street headquarters, ready for the annual London to Brighton Run Sale. Now entering its 12th year, the auction offers an incredible selection of veteran motor cars, this year starring the 1903 Clement Model AC4R Four-Cylinder Rear-Entrance Tonneau, estimated at £400,000-500,000.  

Tim Schofield, Bonhams UK Head of Motor Cars, said: “We’ve got a wonderful selection of exciting veteran cars at this year’s auction, including two vehicles – an 1899 Panhard-Levassor Type M2E 4hp Two-Seater, estimated at £300,000-350,000, and an 1899 Star Benz 3½hp Vis-à-Vis, estimated at £60,000-70,000 – that are over 115-years old. It’s an incredible and unusual sale, transporting visitors back to the golden age of motoring.” One of the most advanced cars of its day, the Clement has a long known British history, now returning to the UK from American ownership. Its very earliest days were recorded in the programme for the London to Brighton Run in 1934.

The auction also boasts a magnificent 1904 Napier Model D45 12HP Side-Entrance Four-Cylinder Tourer, one of the few Napier models that were assembled in period in America. It has been part of three major international car collections, has four cylinders, a four speed gearbox, carries five passengers, is exceptionally rare and comes with an enviable record of completed Brighton Runs. It is now offered at an estimate of £350,000-400,000. Further automotive masterpieces from across the century and beyond include a 1904 Columbia Mark XLIII Two-Cylinder Rear-entrance Tonneau, estimated at £90,000-110,000, and what was commonly regarded as America’s premier make of petrol motor car, a 1904 Winton 4¼-Litre 20hp Two-Cylinder Detachable Rear-Entrance Tonneau, estimated at £130,000-160,000.
Held on 30th October at Bonhams flagship showroom on 101 New Bond Street, the annual London to Brighton Run Sale will offer over 100 lots of both veteran motor cars and automobilia. The Bonhams London to Brighton Sale celebrates the longest-running motoring event in the world; the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. The sale exclusively features pre-1905 cars, each eligible for the Run.
Bonhams sale takes place during “London Motor Week” – a series of events hosted by the world famous Royal Automobile Club which also includes the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, a Literary Festival, Motoring Forum and the Regent Street Motor Show. The first Run took place in 1896, and since then it has taken place almost every year since it’s 1927 revival.
More information on the Run can be found at For further information on Bonhams motoring department, visit:

Bonhams hosts the final fine watch auction of the year

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Bond Street Auction Catalog.pdf


Una selezione di raffinati e rari orologi è quella presente alla prossima asta Bonhams Fine Watch il prossimo 10 dicembre, che si terrà presso la sede di New Bond Street a Londra.

Il catalogo presenta oltre 200 lotti provenienti da una varietà di marchi, tra cui Rolex, Cartier, Patek Philippe, Ulysse Nardin, Jaeger-LeCoultre e Vacheron & Constantin.

Top lot della vendita è una rara referenza 3974 Patek Philippe in oro 18k automatico, calendario perpetuo, ripetizione minuti del1989, stimato in £150.000-200.000. La Ref. 3974 è stata prodotta in numero limitato di cui quello in asta è il settimo dei soli 90 in oro giallo. La combinazione molto complessa del meccanismo di ripetizione minuti e del calendario perpetuo all’interno delle piccole dimensioni di un movimento 12 linee sono ancora una meraviglia oggi.


Da notare anche la vendita di una intera collezione di 18 Rolex messa in asta da un singolo proprietario, con stime da £ 2.000 a £10.000. Questa serie di Rolex è stata raccolta scrupolosamente e si trova in ottime condizioni e corredata di scatole e documentazione.


In asta anche un insolita trilogia che Ulysse Nardin ha lanciato in occasione dell’acquisto da parte di Rolf Schnyder della società. Con stima £ 60.000-80.000, la serie comprende la Astrolabium Galileo Galilei (nel Guinnes come il più complesso orologio da polso mai realizzato), il Planetarium Copernicus, e completando questa “Trilogia del tempo”, il Tellurium.

By Andrea Foffi e Manuel Galvez – –

A selection of exquisite rare watches is to appear at Bonhams Fine Watch auction on December 10, taking place at Bonhams New Bond Street headquarters.

The final Fine Watch auction of the season features over 200 lots from a variety of luxury brands, including Rolex, Cartier, Patek Philippe, Ulysse Nardin, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Vacheron & Constantin.

Leading the sale is a rare Reference 3974 Patek Philippe 18ct gold automatic perpetual calendar minute repeating wristwatch circa 1989, estimated at £150,000-200,000. The Reference 3974 was manufactured in very small numbers, with this particular example only the seventh ever produced. Of these, it is believed that only 90 were yellow gold, therefore the 3974 remains one of the most desirable minute repeaters that they have ever produced. The very complex combination of the minute repeating mechanism and the perpetual calendar within the small dimensions of a 12 ligne movement are still a wonder today.

Further offerings include a selection of contemporary watches from interesting new designers. From Linde Werdelin, a fine and rare 18ct gold automatic calendar wristwatch with moon phases Oktopus Moon Tattoo. Offered at an estimate of £15,000-20,000, timepieces from this contemporary brand are exclusive to a maximum 100 pieces for each model.

Lot 117:  Linde Werdelin. A fine and rare 18ct gold automatic calendar wristwatch with moon phases Oktopus Moon Tattoo

From F.P. Journe, a sophisticated and limited edition 18ct rose gold calendar retrograde automatic wristwatch Octa Calendrie. This beautifully crafted piece is estimated at £14,000-16,000,

Further sale highlights include a single-owner collection of 18 Rolex bracelet watches, ranging in estimate from £2,000 to £10,000. Having been fastidiously collected over a number of years, this Rolex series has been kept in excellent condition with each item including boxes and papers.

 lot 142: Rolex. A stainless steel automatic calendar bracelet watch Explorer II,

 lot 127: F.P. Journe. A limited edition 18ct rose gold calendar retrograde automatic wristwatch Octa Calendrier

Also in the sale is an unusual Ulysse Nardin trilogy launched in celebration of Rolf Schnyder’s purchase of the company. Estimated at £60,000-80,000, the series comprises the Astrolabium Galileo Galilei (at the time this was reported in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most complex watch ever made), the Planetarium Copernicus, and completing the ‘Trilogy of time’, the Tellurium.

By Andrea Foffi e Manuel Galvez – –








A Marine Chronometer from Darwin’s ship “Beagle” for sale at Bonhams

Darwin chronometer

Un cronometro marino Robert Molyneux utilizzato per il secondo e il terzo viaggio di Charles Darwin sul celebre brigantino Beagle sarà offerto in asta alla Fine Clocks Sale Auction di Bonhams a New Bond Street a Londra il 10 dicembre prossimo con una stima di £ 30.000-50.000.

Si tratta di un esemplare unico proveniente da collezione privata, a bordo assieme a Darwin durante i viaggi che decretarono la formulazione della teoria dell’evoluzione. Charles Darwin visitò le isole Galapagos nel 1835, durante queste esplorazioni registrò i campioni di flora e fauna che lo avrebbero portato alla sua rivoluzionaria teoria dell’evoluzione per selezione naturale, pubblicata nel 1859.

L’HMS Beagle era un brigantino riadattato a nave oceanografica ed utilizzato nelle tre celebri spedizioni. Quando il Beagle lasciò Plymouth per il suo secondo viaggio, nel mese di dicembre 1831, la nave portava un giovane naturalista, Charles Darwin. Era stato reclutato con la responsabilità di raccogliere, osservare, e prendere nota di tutto ciò che appartenesse alla sfera naturale.

A parte la missione di Darwin, la missione era destinata anche a completare l’opera del viaggio precedente, e cioè il rilievo della costa meridionale del Sud America e la registrazione della latitudine e la longitudine di ciascun porto di scalo. A tal fine, il Beagle fu corredato di 22 cronometri di bordo tra i quali quello relativo a questo post. Esso è uno dei soli undici che hanno completato il viaggio di sette anni a bordo del famoso brigantino.

Questo cronometro era ancora bordo quando il Beagle ha intrapreso il suo terzo e ultimo viaggio nel 1837 alla volta della costa australiana. I cronometri sono stati da sempre utilizzati dalle navi in mare per la determinazione accurata della longitudine. Costruiti a partire dal XVIII secolo, sono stati utilizzati ampiamente fino al XX secolo. Questi orologi dovevano restare affidabili pur nelle mutevoli condizioni ambientali cui li sottoponeva la navigazione in mare aperto.

Per la prima volta utilizzati su una nave da James Cook nel 1772, sono diventati una presenza fissa dal 1818 per le navi da guerra. Tre cronometri erano il minimo indispensabile per essere in grado di identificatene uno divenuto impreciso. Al tempo dei viaggi del Beagle, l’uso di cronometri marini era diventato routinario e portarne a bordo 22 era normale in vista di un lungo viaggio.

The “Irresistble”

Questo cronometro è stato uno dei sei posseduti personalmente dal capitano Robert FitzRoy, comandante del Beagle durante il viaggio di Darwin. Fu così affidabile che l’Ammiragliato (in passato l’autorità del Regno Unito responsabile del comando della Royal Navy) decise di rivolgersi a FitzRoy per riacquistarlo nel 1837. Il governo ha continuato a impiegare il cronometro su varie navi, l’ultima delle quali di particolare interesse.

L’ultimo cronometro utilizzato su una nave inglese è quello appartenuto alla corazzata “Irresistble” affondata dallo scoppio di una mina nello stretto dei Dardanelli durante la prima guerra mondiale nel marzo del 1915. Una mina che uccise circa 150 marinai dell’equipaggio.Il costruttore del cronometro, Robert Molyneux, era un orologiaio di tutto rispetto con sede a Londra.

By Andrea Foffi e Manuel Galvez – –

A second previously unrecorded marine chronometer used on the 2nd and 3rd voyages of HMS Beagle will be offered in the Fine Clocks Sale on December 10th at Bonhams New Bond Street salerooms, carrying a pre-sale estimate of £30,000-50,000. It is the only known marine chronometer in private hands that was present on board HMS Beagle when Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos Islands in 1835, when he recorded and collected specimens of the flora and fauna that would lead to his momentous theory of evolution by natural selection, published in his seminal work ‘The Origin of Species‘ in 1859.

HMS Beagle was an Admiralty survey ship sent on three major expeditions. The first (1826–1830) was to survey the coast of South America, accompanying HMS Adventure. The second expedition (1831–1836) was to build on the work of the first in South America, and then to go onward to establish a chain of linked reference points encircling the globe. The third expedition (1837–1843) surveyed the coast of Australia.

When HMS Beagle left Plymouth for her second voyage in December 1831, the ship carried a young naturalist, Charles Darwin. He had been recruited with the responsibility of “collecting, observing, and noting, anything worthy to be noted in Natural History”. Aside from Darwin’s particular remit, the voyage was tasked with completing the work of the previous journey, in surveying the southern coast of South America, and recording the latitude and longitude of each port of call. For this purpose, the Beagle carried 22 chronometers on board, including the present lot- which is one of only 11 that completed the seven year voyage on board the Beagle.

By the time the Beagle returned to England in October 1836, Darwin had sailed 40,000 miles around the world and collected more than 5,000 specimens. His notes show that he already understood how his experiences and finds were likely to challenge the established view of the unchanging nature of species.

This chronometer was again on board when the Beagle undertook its third and final voyage in 1837, surveying large parts of the uncharted Australian coast. The expedition identified the Adelaide and Victoria rivers and surveyed the Torres Strait and the Gulf of Carpentaria, before exploring northern and north-west Australia, the Bass Strait and Tasmania.

Chronometers were widely used by ships at sea for the accurate determination of longitude.  First built in the 18th century, they were utilised extensively by mariners through to the early 20th century.  These timepieces needed to remain accurate while subjected to the motions of a ship at sea and through extreme changes in temperature.

First carried on a survey ship by James Cook on his second voyage in 1772, from 1818 it became standard for the Admiralty to issue chronometers to naval ships. Three chronometers was the minimum necessary to be able to identify whether one had become unacceptably inaccurate. By the time of the Beagle voyages, the use of marine chronometers had become routine and, as mentioned, the ship carried 22 on the second voyage, to allow for mechanical failure over the lengthy journey.

This chronometer was one of six owned personally by Captain Robert FitzRoy, commander of the Beagle during Darwin’s voyage. It performed so well that the Admiralty decided to purchase it from FitzRoy in 1837. The government continued to employ the chronometer on various ships, the last being of particular interest.

The date of transfer is not mentioned in the ledgers, but the final entry reads that the timepiece was ‘Lost in “Irresistible” 1916 July 3’. This refers to the sinking of HMS Irresistible (a ‘Formidable’ class battleship) off the coast of Turkey. Originally commissioned in 1902, with the outbreak of World War I the Irresistible was sent to serve in the Dardanelles campaign, bombarding Turkish coastal forts. However in March 1915 she struck a mine which killed about 150 of her crew. Badly damaged, the Irresistible was abandoned by the survivors and left to drift, and eventually sink.

The manufacturer of the chronometer, Robert Molyneux, was a highly respected clock and chronometer maker based in London. He also made four other timepieces used on the voyage, one of which he sent on his own account. This is the only known surviving example by him from the voyage.