Auction of Edwin Cox’s Impressionist collection
Who thought that Impressionism was dead! The famous Impressionist art collection of Edwin Lochridge Cox (Texas oilman as well as philanthropist and 99 years old) was auctioned off at Christie’s New York for a astonishing $332 million last night.
The auction of 23 lots sold for $267.6m which was more than the estimates for pre-sale of $178.6m.
Sixteen entries came with financial assurances. They were either in-house or a third parties. Four artist recordings were created.
The evening started with Claude Monet’s Nympheas (fragment that was created around 1912) that Cox was given in 1982 by the famous art dealer Daniel Wildenstein. It made $5.2m (with fees) and was within the $700,000 to $1m range.
Odillon Redon’s still-life with flowers Grand bouquet des fleurs of the champs (circa 1900-2005), was valued at $2.3m (plus costs). (Est. $1.2m-1.8m) and Vincent van Gogh’s light suffused-landscape, Cabanes de bois parmi les liviers et cypres, painted in Saint-Remy-de-Provence in October 1889 sold to Hugo Nathan of London’s Beaumont Nathan Art Advisory, shattering its estimate (unpublished, but in the region of $40m), realising $71.3m (with fees). The collection, Wildenstein & Company New York purchased both paintings in the years 1981 and 1982.
It was refreshing to know that none of the artworks were sold at auction and the fact that none of them passed through the closed doors of Wildenstein’s.
A duplicate van Gogh painting, Meules du ble which was a pencil, ink and watercolour gouache paper, was painted in Arles in June of 1888. It was later sold to Beaumont Nathan for $31 million ($35.8m plus costs). $20-30m). After a long-running settlement between the consignor Alexandrine de Rothschild, the consignor and Max Meirowsky, the original owners, the picture was placed on the market. The photograph was captured in the Occupation of France in 1941 and was transferred to Paris’ Jeu de Paume in April of 1941. This was a long time prior to Wildenstein.
Cox’s favorite artist, Jeune homme at Bluet, one of the last paintings made in Auvers-sur-Oise shortly before his death, depicted an unassuming young man with the cornflower inside his mouth. The painting was valued at $40.5m (with charges) and was estimated to be worth $5m to $7m.
Paul Cezanne’s stunning seaside view is rare to the market and with a stellar history, L’Estaque aux toits rouges (1883-85) was bought by Cox in 1978 for $48 million (or $55.3m plus taxes). $35m-$55m).
Vue sur l’Estaque et le Chateau d’If was a different version of the cult series. It was offered through Christie’s London for PS13.5m/$20.5m in February of 2015.
Le basin d’argenteuil (1874) is a larger Claude Monet entry, depicting various vessels moored and figures on mirror-like water and with an extensive history of exhibitions it was auctioned off for $24 million (Est. $27.8 and fees). $15m-25m). It was secured by a guarantee from a third party similar to Van Gogh and Cezanne.
The last night’s sole work by a female artist, Berthe Morisot’s oil on canvas Fillette portant un panier (1888) was the only work. It was purchased by Cox in 1977, early in his collection career. He bought it for $4.4m (plus charges). $2-$3m).
The last lot, the cover lot, the one everyone was eagerly anticipating and which surely reflected Cox’s exquisite taste was Gustave Caraillebotte’s enthralling composition Jeune homme a sa fenetre (1876) composed and composed by Gustave Caillebotte. The painting was later sold to Adam Williams, a New York dealer who offered the Getty Museum Los Angeles at $46 million (or $53 million with fees). The auction was conducted by Adam Williams who is a dealer in New York. He offered it at $46 million ($53m plus fees est.). It is a record-breaking price for the artist.
Cox bought the work from Wildenstein in 1995 when he purchased the painting from Wildenstein. The painting was also featured in the travelling retrospective Gustave Caillebotte Urban Impressionist. The painting was quickly an integral part of his carefully curated collection. The painting featured the exquisite back of a man, seated in front of a magnificent French window. The painting reveals his figure as well as the stunning Parisian boulevard he gazes at. It was the focal point of one of the most intense bidding contests that took place in the evening. While not mentioned in the description Caillebotte’s middle brother Rene was the figure standing. He passed away just a few days after the painting was completed. The record was broken established by Chemin Montant (1881) at Christie’s London in February 2019 the day it was sold for PS16.6m/$22.2m (plus costs).
Caillebotte was not just an Impressionist painter He was also a fervent financial backer. Perhaps the most significant was that he donated his vast collection to France following his death.