International Art & Decorative Arts Auction December 2015

By: Susan Robertson

Girl Reading

Featuring artworks from across the globe

Waddington’s International and Decorative Arts Departments auction will be led by a fine selection of artworks from across the globe. Once again, we have selected the finest paintings, drawings and sculptures from numerous estates and private collections. The framework of this auction resists chronological or country order and instead, we present this offering to highlight the respective dynamism of these works by emphasizing their sameness or exalting their variations.

John Callcott Horsley’s At the Window (lot 25) is featured on the front cover of our catalogue. With the terrier looking eagerly into the distance, this work invites you to view the wonderful works of art contained in its pages following.

An impressive large canvas by an artist from the circle of Sir Anthony Van Dyke (lot 14), removed from the Collection of the Warwick House (London, UK) in 1906, will charm with its tender depiction of the three eldest children of King Charles I and their faithful King Charles spaniels poised at their feet.

We are pleased to continue to offer works consigned to us by the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) as part of their strategy to refine and improve its collection. This auction includes a number of Old Master and 19th Century drawings (lot 6 – lot 10 inclusive; lot 23).

The sale is complimented by technically superb portraits of Catholic cardinals, including the oversized work by Giuseppe Signorini (lot 45). A Toronto collector while in Rome, Italy commissioned this work directly from the artist in October 1929.

Likewise, we are privileged to present the historic canvas, Clipper Ship “Thermoplyae” by Montague Dawson (lot 34) in its original untouched condition. “Thermoplyae” features a single clipper ship as its protagonist. Here, Dawson has the composite vessel appearing to pitch and heel amidst a swelling sea under ominous storm clouds. This work retains the original gallery label from the Watson Art Galleries (Montreal, CA), a prominent Canadian purveyor of the most important European pictures sold in Canada. The work is accompanied by a photo-certificate from the Canadian photographic firm William Notman & Son Limited (Montreal, CA).

This Dawson oil on canvas is joined by a superb watercolour by the celebrated British artist. The beautiful coloration of Montague Dawson’s Close hauled (lot 35) additionally compliments the grandness of Charles Edward Dixon’s impressive, detailed historic watercolour scene The First Canadian Contingent Escorted by Princess Royal (lot 19).

A rare canvas by Denis Louis Bihan Niagara Falls, City of Buffalo in the Distance (lot 18) offers viewers a spectacular view of the falls from a lofty vantage point.

A heroic battle scene by Francesco Coleman offers a cavalry charge with richly costumed Bedouins (lot 42) bathed in brilliant daylight. Coleman’s clear command of pictorial spatial recession and atmospheric and tonal affects creates an exciting view for its spectator.

Assembling an auction of this scope imposes an enormous amount of commitment and energy.  These biannual events are accomplished with thorough consideration and a rigorous review of scholarship but can only be executed with great cooperation. I am fortunate and indebted to my colleagues for all their assistance.

My final and most significant thank-you is to you, the collector, and your remarkable vision and enthusiasm in your acquisitions.

I look forward to greeting you at our previews dates.

Susan Robertson

View the Auction Gallery


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