Highlights in upcoming Fine Art & Antiques auction at Stockholms Auktionsverk

A newly discovered chest of drawers executed in Georg Haupt’s circle, a magnificent mirror by Burchardt Precht and a loving play by Marc Chagall – in this spring’s Fine Art & Antiques auction, you will find a carefully curated selection by the Stockholms Auktionsverk Works of Art Department. The auction will be held on 11–12 June at Nybrogatan 32 in Stockholm. Markus Anderzon, specialist in antique furniture and works of art, presents his selected highlights from the auction:

“For this spring’s edition of Fine Art & Antiques, we have hand-picked a collection of high-class objects with great cultural-historical relevance. In addition to the catalogue’s fine objects, we have focused on solitary pieces; there are not that many duplicates and editions to speak of – only the best in each object category is good enough.”

A piece that impresses both in size and craftmanship is ‘Stureforsspegeln’ by court sculptor Burchardt Precht. A high-quality piece of work in the Carolinian Baroque style, with a pine frame and decoration of gilded lead ornaments with inlaid glass.

“Burchardt Precht’s magnificent mirrors have an extremely high status internationally. Although we speak of him today as one of the founders of the Swedish Carolinian Baroque, we always notice that foreign interested parties keep an eye on his mirrors. It’s enjoyable to see how a craftsman who, after all, worked in such a small arena as 17th and 18th century Stockholm turns up at auctions in England and the USA,” says Markus Anderzon.

Mirrors have been a given status symbol throughout history, and anyone who looks at the estate inventories of nobles who passed away during this time will find mirrors among the most precious objects. Often second only to gold and precious stones.

“There’s no escaping from the fact that it’s a rather vain product, its whole purpose being to exist for the owner’s self-admiration. But that is precisely why the mirrors give such a clear sense of presence. It’s dizzying to look in the mirror and think of all the other people who have done the same thing throughout history. Who knows which charming 18th-century people might have stood before the same glass and corrected the cravat at a party? The mirror becomes a window to ancient times and life at Sturefors Castle; Nils Bielke was the founder of his family, so, likely, he was also the one who ordered this mirror from Burchardt Precht.”

The auction catalogue also features a high-class Gustavian Stockholm work made in Georg Haupt’s circle in the 1770s/80s, with exquisite inlay work and masterful fittings. A newly discovered chest of drawers that closely resembles the oeuvre of the world-famous master, known for his incredible sense of composition, colour and technique. Also, make sure to cast an eye on the elegant pair of canopies, sculpted in Carrara marble with carved pseudo-hieroglyphs and the winged sun disk, representing the union of the falcon god Horus and the sun god Ra. It originated in the Egyptian style of the French Empire, where Napoleon Bonaparte’s campaign against Egypt in 1798 was instrumental in the fascination with ancient culture. In addition to the irresistible light blue display cabinet from the third quarter of the 18th century with wood-cut décor, Stockholm work in Rococo.

A must-see highlight from the Stockholms Auktionsverk Art Department includes ‘L’Envolée magique’ by artist Marc Chagall. In this work of art, a parade of the artist’s well-known symbols hovers over the paper – the red rooster, the goat, the bouquet of flowers. A woman gracefully flying over the earthly composition in an acrobatic leap, as a symbol of elevated love. Marc Chagall executed this particular painting at the age of 93, and it is clear that the sender is an experienced artist. Despite having experienced first-hand the horrors of 20th-century Europe, he displays an unshakeable belief in the power of imagination and that goodness always triumphs.

Swedish artist Bruno Liljefors can also be seen in the catalogue with his painting Mountain Owl in the Moonlight, a work in the Japanese style. It was probably made in the late 1880s when the artist was strongly influenced by Japanese art – which also shows that Liljefors was very much part of his contemporary art world. The work can be compared with the artist’s similar painting of a mountain owl, which is currently part of the Fürstenberg Collection at the Gothenburg Museum of Art.

The Fine Art & Antiques auction at Stockholms Auktionsverk is held on 11–12 June, at Nybrogatan 32 in Stockholm. The auction is also available for online bidding – view the auction in its entirety – here.

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