Acteon – Painting by Cimabue Sold at Auction for €24m

Acteon – Painting by Cimabue Sold at Auction for €24m

Under the hammer of Dominique le Coënt, Acteon, a French consortium of auction houses in Senlis, Chantilly, Compiègne, Lille and Paris,The Mocking of Christ, a rare painting by Cimabue, has sold at auction for € 24,180,000 -$ 26,792,500.

Found hanging in a local family’s home near Compiègne by Acteon, the tiny painting (24,6X19,6cm – 9,6X7,7 inches) was authenticated by Cabinet Turquin. Initially estimated between 4 and 6 million euros, the painting becomes the most expensive pre-1500 old Master to have been sold at auction. Globally, the Senlis Cimabue is the 8th most expensive old Master to have been auction after Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi (2017), Rubens’s Massacre of the Innocents (2012), Rubens’s Lot and His Daughters (2016), Rembrandt’s Portrait of a Woman (2000), Raphaël’sPortrait of Lorenzo de Medicis (2007), and Canaletto’s Veduta del Canal Grande (2005). The beneficiary will be the old lady who sold the house and asked Acteon to clear it. They had a week to do it.

In front of an audience of more than 500 people, 8 competitors aggressively bid for this rare painting by Cimabue, the 13th century Florentine painter renowned as one of the greatest pre- renaissance artists, whose body of work is limited to ten works, of which none is signed and all in public collections. the buyer is a private individual.

Investigations of Cabinet Turquin had determined the painting belongs to a devotional panel of two elements painted with eight scenes from the Passion of Christ. The panel, titled The Mocking of Christ, joins the two other elements known to us today: the Flagellation which has been in the Frick Collection in New York since 1950 and Virgin and Child Enthroned surrounded by two angels, which was bought by the national gallery in London in 2000.


“This is a historic sale for the Actéon group. With a remarkable price of € 24 180 000, this auction joins the ranks of the 8th most important Old Masters auctions worldwide. This record shows that today, a work of art can be sold anywhere in the world thanks especially to powerful platforms such as Interencheres.” says Dominique le Coënt, director of Actéon group.

“We received interest from all the most prominent museums worldwide. Contemporary art collectors whom we did not know also showed a keen interest, which for us as experts in Old Masters, was a completely new phenomenon.” Eric Turquin, expert who authenticated the Cimabue painting.

This exceptional discovery of The Mocking of Christ allows us to pursue the reconstitution of the unique devotional work known to us today as being by the hand of Cimabue. Traces of the original framing, the small round dots made with the same sort of stamp, the style, the gold ornamentation, the corresponding of the backs of each of the panels and their similar condition confirm that these panels made up the left side of the same diptych.


An exceedingly rare artist and one of the first examples of Western painting

The majority of works by Cimabue were done for churches in Pisa, Florence, Bologne, Arezzo. A Virgin and Child Enthroned painted circa 1280 for the church of San Francesco in Pisa is today in the louvre. devotional panels, of which our panel is one, were small in scale and easy to transport and were intended for private contemplation by religious congregations or individuals in their chapels or private oratories.

Cimabue a Florentine painter active in the second half of the 13th century, ensured the renewal of Byzantine painting by breaking with its formalism and its images that were codified by dogma. he is the artist who opened the door to a greater naturalism in art that precedes that of the renaissance; he gives a soul to each of his figures and brings depth to his composition by conceiving the first notions of perspective.

In this rediscovered panel, the multitude of faces, be they grimacing or jeering, very expressive, all serve to reinforce this idea of Christ being surrounded. Christ himself is shown as a flesh and blood human being in an attitude of surrender and not as an almost abstract divinity. Giotto and Duccio, for whom Cimabue is considered the spiritual father, will follow this stylistic evolution.

This panel is thus one of the first examples of Western art that opens the way to Humanism in paintings.

For more information about the sale please contact:

Press Inquiries:

Sylvie Robaglia, Art & Communication

[email protected], +33 06 72 59 57 34

Hindman – Clothing Archive Of Geoffrey Beene (1927- 2004)

Hindman – Clothing Archive Of Geoffrey Beene (1927- 2004)

Hindman will sell Property From The Geoffrey Beene Archive: Clothes That Care, featuring significant designs from iconic fashion designer Geoffrey Beene’s personal collection that have been carefully preserved for the past 15 years.

The auction in Chicago on November 20th includes lots dating from the 1960’s to the early 2000’s. All net proceeds from the sale of the Geoffrey Beene Archive will benefit the Geoffrey Beene Cancer Research Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering.

Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs asked separately who they felt was the greatest designer produced by the United States in the 20th century, a figure who could be placed alongside couturiers of the calibre of Chanel and Balenciaga, both replied without hesitation, “Geoffrey Beene,” according to fashion writer Colin McDowell who interviewed them for The Business of Fashion.

Beene did not care to be a big brand. In his gentlemanly Southern drawl he said: “I’m not a driven businessman, but a driven artist, I never think about money – beautiful things make money”.

“At Hindman, we love any opportunity to celebrate exemplary designs, and this sale is replete with highlights of modern American fashion design,” said Timothy Long, Hindman’s director and senior specialist of luxury accessories and couture. “We are proud that the proceeds of the Property From The Geoffrey Beene Archive: Clothes That Care© sale will benefit cancer research.”

Geoffrey Beene was one of the greatest American fashion designers of the 20th century and a prominent figure in the emergence of the American fashion industry after World War II. Beene was a pioneering force in creating an American style that was independent from the dictates of European Haute Couture. From the launch of his own line in 1963 to his death in 2004, Geoffrey Beene was an independent force in American fashion, and was awarded the prestigious Coty Fashion Award no less than eight times­—the highest number awarded to any designer to date.

Beene started his career during the era when Parisian designers still dominated the fashion world and Americans were expected to look to them for inspiration. However, though Beene was trained in the traditional manner, educated in New York and Paris, he broke out of the mould after his training and apprenticeship working for other designers. His first collection made the cover of Vogue, and he has been regarded as a Dean of American design ever since. His high-profile clients have included several Presidential First Ladies, and he designed the wedding dress of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s daughter, Lynda Bird Johnson, in 1967.

The Geoffrey Beene Cancer Research Centre at Memorial Sloan Kettering was created in 2006 to support and fund new research approaches in preventing, diagnosing and treating all cancers. Together, the Geoffrey Beene Foundation and Geoffrey Beene, LLC have awarded a total of over $175 million to the Geoffrey Beene Cancer Research Center, funding approximately 130 separate new revolutionary research projects that have resulted in major breakthroughs in multiple cancers.



About The Geoffrey Beene Foundation

The Geoffrey Beene Foundation was founded in 2006 by G. Thompson (“Tom”) Hutton, Esq., under his discretionary authority as Executor of the Estate of Geoffrey Beene, who died in 2004. The mission of the Foundation is to support critical philanthropic causes, the most important being the establishment in 2006 of the Geoffrey Beene Cancer Research Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Tom Hutton initiated and orchestrated the creation of the Geoffrey Beene Cancer Research Center with Harold Varmus, M.D. (Nobel Laureate and former CEO of MSK), because Hutton wanted to fund new revolutionary research initiatives that would lead to new treatments for cancer patients. Together the Geoffrey Beene Foundation and Geoffrey Beene, LLC (until 2018 when its business was sold) have been the sole funding sources and have funded approximately 130 separate new revolutionary research initiatives across all cancers to develop new treatments and diagnostics for cancer patients. The new research has resulted in major breakthroughs in multiple cancers, saving and improving thousands of lives.


About the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is the world’s oldest and largest private cancer center and has devoted more than 130 years to exceptional patient care, innovative research, and outstanding educational programs. Today, they are one of 50 National Cancer Institute–designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, with state-of-the-art science flourishing side by side with clinical studies and treatment.

The close collaboration between physicians and scientists is one of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s unique strengths, enabling them to provide patients with the best care available, as they work to discover more effective strategies to prevent, control, and ultimately cure cancer in the future. Their education programs train future physicians and scientists, and the knowledge and experience they gain at Memorial Sloan Kettering has an impact on cancer treatment and biomedical research around the world.

For more information about the auction please contact visit Hindman.










Lot 172

Three Geoffrey Beene Dresses, Spring 1992


Estimate: US$2,000 – US$3,000

Strauss & Co – South African Art’s Love Affair With Paris

Strauss & Co – South African Art’s Love Affair With Paris

Forthcoming Johannesburg sale, to be held at Strauss & Co’s Houghton offices on Monday, 11 November will focus collectors’ attention on the strong influence Paris has exerted on South African art throughout the twentieth century.

“Paris was a beacon for countless South African artists,” says Susie Goodman, executive director at Strauss & Co. “The first South African artist to study in Paris was Robert Gwelo Goodman, in 1895. The list of local artists who followed in his footsteps is as remarkable as it is long. The top three lots in our upcoming sale are by Alexis Preller, William Kentridge, and Penny Siopis, highly acclaimed artists who each spent time in Paris early in their careers.”

Alexis Preller:

The top lot is Preller’s Icon Barbare (Adam), an oil painting quoting his powerful 1969 intaglio Adam (sold by Strauss & Co in 2016 for R6.8 million). Shown on the artist’s 1972 Pretoria Art Museum retrospective, Icon Barbare (estimate R8.5 – 10 million) depicts the biblical first man with Prelleresque flourishes.

“The Christ-like beard and hair are ambiguously transformed with green and leaf-like tendrils thus assuming a pagan quality,” notes artist and Preller expert Karel Nel. “The transmuted presence feels more like an icon of Pan, the Greek god of nature, of fertility, the mountains and wilds.”Assuredly loose in style, this oil on canvas reveals Preller’s admiration for French Fauvist painter Raoul Dufy, a lifelong friend of painter Othon Friesz.

Preller met Friesz, a teacher at Académie de la Grande Chaumière, in 1937 during his first trip to Paris. Lacking funds to study at his art school, Preller

invested his energies in the “tireless examination of the works of modern artists on view in galleries,” according his biographer Esmé Berman. During these expeditions Preller recognised in Gauguin “a guide to the direction he himself might follow”. This influence is evident in Mapogga Wedding (R2 – 3 million), a 1952 oil depicting a bride and groom set slightly askew with Gauguinesque figures in the background.

William Kentridge:

The influence of Paris is also evident in the work of contemporary masters such as William Kentridge and Penny Siopis. In 1981 Kentridge studied mime and theatre at a Paris acting school founded by Jacques Lecoq. A decade later, having decisively returned to making art, he produced the collage Iris, a highly unusual colour work portraying a single flower in Van Gogh’s Provencal tones of blue and purple (estimate R3 – 5 million).

Penny Siopis:

Five years later, Siopis undertook a seven-month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts after winning the Volkskas Atelier Award with her well-known painting Melancholia. The forthcoming sale includes a companion work, Act I Scene II (estimate R2.8 – 3.5 million), which was interrupted by Siopis’s stay in Paris and completed upon her return to Johannesburg à la Melancholia. This lot includes various pictorial elements (tortoise shell, porcupine quills, classical statuettes, red arum lilies) appearing in Melancholia.

The upcoming sale is an opportunity for collectors and art lovers to explore South African art’s indebtedness to Paris. Artists from various periods are represented in the catalogue, including Ruth Everard Haden, Clément Sénèque and Maud Sumner, who all studied in Paris during the interwar years. Sumner’s Woman Seated at a Mirror (estimate R350 000 – 500 000) is an intimate domestic scene in the style of Bonnard and Vuillard.

Postwar painters also feature prominently. They include Erik Laubscher, who studied at the Académie Montmartre under Fernand Léger, Bettie Cilliers-Barnard, Sydney Goldblatt and Anna Vorster, who all studied at the Paris art school founded by cubist painter André Lhote. Standout lots include Laubscher’s School of Paris work from 1956, Abstract Landscape (R250 000 – 300 000) and Cilliers-Barnard’s international style Abstract Composition (estimate R80 000 – 120 000) painted a year later.

Paris was more than simply a workshop for painterly innovation; it provided shelter for dissidents and exiles. Following in the footsteps of pioneering abstract painter Ernest Mancoba, who settled in Paris in 1938. Gerard Sekoto choose to leave apartheid South Africa for the City of Lights a decade later. A highly collectible artist, Sekoto is represented in a wine-coloured composition from 1968, Three Figures (estimate R350 000 – 500 000).

Highlights from the contemporary selection include Diane Victor’s There’s Fire in the Thatch (estimate R300 000 – 500 000), a large charcoal and chalk pastel drawing portraying six figures locked in an embrace hovering over a burning landscape. Victor won the 1988 Absa l’Atelier Art Competition and – like Siopis – stayed at the Cité Internationale des Arts. During her ten-month residency she produced drawings combining classical references with contemporary social comment and autobiographical detail.

All these works will go under the hammer on Monday, 11 November at Strauss & Co’s new sales and exhibition space at 89 Central Street, Houghton, in Johannesburg. The Paris-themed sale will also include a collection of Edoardo Villa bronze sculptures from the estate of Aldo Carrara, a lifelong friend of the artist, as well as a number of noteworthy landscape scenes by JH Pierneef.

For more information about the sale please contact:

Press Inquiries:

Julian Roup, Bendigo Communications [email protected], +44 7970 563 958





‘Iris’ by William Kentridge

A single flower in Van Gogh’s Provencal tones of blue and purple

Estimate: GBP£160,000 – GBP£265,000  (R3m to R5m)

Freeman’s International Sale Brings Over $2.4 Million

Freeman’s International Sale Brings Over $2.4 Million

PHILADELPHIA, PA—Freeman’s 2 October International Sale was an overwhelming success, achieving a sale total of just over $2.4 million, tripling its presale low estimate total.

The auction featured lots across multiple departments, including Asian Art, British and European Furniture and Decorative Arts, Rugs, Objets de Vertu, European and Old Master paintings and works on paper, and Silver.



Among the many highlights from the sale were several works of Asian Art, most notably a Chinese carved spinach green jade Luduan censer on a gilt metal base (Lot 163), which sold for $250,000, outselling its presale low estimate, as well as a Chinese blue and white rectangular porcelain plaque, attributed to Wang Bu (1898-1968), delicately painted to depict two fisherman by a river by an old tree. The piece (Lot 65), was originally owned by Dr. Harold H. Louckes and shattered its presale estimate, garnering an impressive $574,000.

Ben Farina, Head of Appraisals and Asian Art states: “We were extremely pleased with the results of the Asian arts offered. It is rare to have the privilege to offer not just one but several private collections which have come down to us by inheritance. Most notable were the strong prices achieved for Chinese scholars items and works of art from the collection of 


Dr. Harold Louckes, highlighted by the exquisitely painted blue and white porcelain plaque attributed to the highly sought after 20th century Chinese artist Wang Bu, and the fine array of Chinese jade carvings lovingly assembled over four decades by Dr. Frederic and Mrs. Madeleine Zeman. We were also pleased with our successes in the Japanese market, most notably with the album of Japanese surimono woodblock prints, sold for the benefit of the Delaware Art Museum.

The sale also benefited by timing the online debut of the catalogue to coincide with Asia Week, New York, by holding the auction well after the deluge of works crossing the block in New York. Clients reacted favorably and appreciated that they were able to focus without distractions.”



Fine Art highlights primarily included a 16thCentury Tuscan School Study of a Shouting Man (Lot 459), which also featured a running figure and a figure’s extended arm verso, drawn in black and white chalk on paper. The exceptional drawing sold for a remarkable $418,000, well above its original estimate.

David Weiss, Senior Vice President and Department Head of European Art and Old Masters department remarks: “We are pleased with the results of this International Sale, which is growing to be another popular venue at Freeman’s. The impressive result obtained for an Old Master Tuscan drawing, as well as several 19th century European paintings, proves how strong the market can be for exceptional pieces, and illustrates our continued belief in such an exciting field. We are now very much looking forward to our fine European Art sale this February, which already promises to be another strong sale.”



Additional noteworthy successes were several lots of fine silver,“We were thrilled with the strong results across all of the collecting categories included in this sale: Asian Arts, British & European Furniture & Decorative Arts, and European Paintings.  It was a standout day in particular for continental silver and objets de vertu, which continues to be a very active market for us at Freeman’s, with exceptional prices achieved for Italian, German, and Russian silver” states Tessa Laney, Department Head for British and European Furniture and Decorative Arts.


For more information about the sale please contact:

Head of Sale:

Tessa Laney, [email protected], +1 267.414.1220

Press Inquiries:

Madeline Hill, [email protected], +1 267.414.1201

Roseberys – Indian & Islamic Museum-quality Pieces

Roseberys – Indian & Islamic Museum-quality Pieces

LONDON: An ancient turquoise hippopotamus figurine, one of the most evocative and enduring images found in Egyptian art, will be offered for sale at Roseberys London. The diminutive antiquity, measuring just over 5 inches long, is around 3600 years old and is one of the star lots in a 530-lot sale of Islamic & Indian Arts on October 22. Modelled with bulging hooded eyes and small pricked ears, it shares similarities with other figurines found in several international museums including ‘William’, the famous faience hippo in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art who serves as the museum’s informal mascot. On offer with a £15,000-20,000 estimate, the rare piece was first recorded in The Adda Family Collection formed in the 1920s and ‘30s. It passed by descent and now forms part of a consignment of nearly 100 lots majoring on ancient and Islamic gold jewellery and Roman and Islamic glass from the Property of a Lady. Hippopotami were viewed by the ancient Egyptians as both threatening and protective due to their associations with hunting and fertility. These small brightly coloured creatures, crafted from blue faience in varying sizes and decorated with images of the plants and animals found in the animal’s marshy habitat, were produced for a relatively short period of time in the Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate Period. (Lot 51)

From the same collection is a smaller white glazed painted limestone hippopotamus, dating to the Middle Kingdom and painted in black with birds and a lotus flower on its back, estimated at £8,000-10,000 (Lot 59), and a New Kingdom turquoise glazed composition cosmetic jar decorated on both sides with a pair of stylised Egyptian eyes at £600-800. (Lot 46) 

Elsewhere in the antiquities section is a late Roman or Byzantine two-handled footed cup dating to c.6th-7th century AD, which carries hopes of £10,000-15,000. Made from brownish-purple glass and with a band of pincered decoration, the piece comes from a private English collection and was originally acquired in 1980 on the French art market. (Lot 112)

As well as antiquities, the auction contains pieces from the Islamic and Indian worlds including glass, metalwork, pottery, textiles, manuscripts and works on paper, paintings and Indian miniatures.This rare carved rock crystal chess piece from the 9th-11th century is estimated at £6,000-8,000. Carved with a deep bevel-cut foliate design, it was acquired by the present owner in 1989 from a shop in Leeds where it was sold as a cut glass paperweight. The piece shares similarities with another in the collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the rock crystal chess pieces found in the famed medieval Ager chess set, one of the oldest extant in Europe. The game of chess, which can be traced back to the 2nd or 3rd century, spread from the Indian subcontinent through Persia to centres such as Baghdad and Cairo. (Lot 134)

A group of four Sikh works of art is led by an important and rare enamelled and diamond-set Order of Merit of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (r. 1801-1839), the first Maharaja of the Indian state of Punjab who had a great curiosity of European medals and decorations. The c.1830s star pendant set with diamonds is similar to an Order of Merit in the Sheesh Mahal Museum and Medal Gallery in India and an emerald-set example is in the V&A. It is estimated at £5,000-7,000. (Lot 454)

The rest of the group comprises a 19th century braided hair band with miniature of the Golden Temple of Amritsar estimated at £1,500-2,000 (Lot 455), three c.1860 watercolours depicting Punjab trades from a dispersed album made in Lahore valued at £200-500 (Lot 467), and a 19th century red embroidered silk Phulkari from Sindh, decorated in black, red, green and yellow silk, which carries hopes of £800-1,200 (Lot 465).

One of the sale’s leading lots is an important Timurid grey schist cenotaph with a Kufic inscription from central Asia. Dating to the 14th-15th century, the black granite piece is carved with cartouches containing calligraphic inscriptions and designs of entwining palmettes and arabesques. The form and carved decorative details are characteristic of a style developed in Herat under Timurid patronage in the second half of the 15th century and is similar in style to that on the mausoleum of Timur in Gur-i Amir in Samarqand. It was originally acquired in Belgium in 1969 and is valued at £25,000-35,000. (Lot 180)

Among the jewellery is an attractive group of five gold earrings in the form of small lions originating from 12th century Iran. With circular applied decoration and stone-set eyes to two earrings, they come with hopes of £5,000-7,000. (Lot 148) 

From southern Spain is a 15th century Nasrid enamelled gold belt buckle estimated at £2,000-3,000. The handsome piece is worked with granulation and kufic letters and comes from the Property of a Lady. (Lot 192)

Originating from Syria is this unusually shaped Islamic enamelled two-handled flask with a tulip-shaped mouth, dating to the 13th century. Such pieces were used as perfume sprinklers and more unusually as pilgrim flasks to store water or oil. This example, estimated at £15,000-18,000, has traces of gilt and is decorated with enamelled red arabesques and floral elements. (Lot 185) 

Priced at £2,000-3,000 is a Safavid portrait of a bearded prince in pencil and opaque pigments on paper, heralding from 17th century Iran. The prince is shown among sprays of blue flowers, wearing a three-quarters length coat, holding a stick and with a katar tucked into the sash at his waist. (Lot 199) 

 This ornate gouache on paper, heightened with gilt, depicts an Avadh lady with her attendant holding a hookah on a palace terrace with the sun setting behind. Originating from Murshidabad in c.1760-70 it is being offered with a guide price of £3,000-5,000 (Lot 347).

A section of Modern and Contemporary art includes works by such artists as Farid Belkahia (1934-2014), Ahmet Oran (b. 1957), Laxman Pai (b. 1926), Badri Narayan (1929-2013) and B. Vithal (1933/35-1992). This mixed media and acrylic work by Khosrow Hassanzadeh (b. 1963), Untitled (2006), is estimated at £,2000-3,000.

Born in 1963 in Tehran to a working-class Azerbaijani family who were fruit-sellers, Hassanzadeh gained international recognition with his work War (1998), a grim and trenchant diary of his own experiences as a volunteer soldier during the Iran-Iraq war (1980–1988). Unlike many of his contemporaries, Hassanzadeh has chosen to continue to live and work as an artist in Iran. Time magazine has described him as one of the country’s “hottest” artists. (Lot 505).

For more information about the auction please contact Peigi Mackillop [email protected] +44 (0) 20 8761 2522.




An Egyptian turquoise glazed composition hippopotamus

Second Intermediate Period

Circa 1786-1590 B.C


Estimate: GBP£15,000 – GBP£20,000