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[ US Silver Dollar Coins ] Original 1804 Silver Dollar. Class I.

[ US Silver Dollar Coins ] Original 1804 Silver Dollar. Class I. Very Choice Brilliant Proof. PCGS PR64. Gorgeous iridescent blue and rich rose colors wreath both sides of this magnificent and historic coin. The coin exhibits an amazing sharpness of detail. Each and every one of the individual strands in Miss Liberty's hair on the obverse is outlined and separated. They all show to the fullest extentpossible. The stars that surround her head are all bold and clear. They have super strong centers. The points on the stars look sharp enough to poke your finger on! The all important 1804 date is boldly struck. Wonderfully, the eagle on the reverse shows full and complete feathers in its breast. On Bust Dollars the eagle's breast was directly opposite the highest point of the obverse and it is usually seen flat and weak. On this magnificent coin the feathers are all sharp and bold. The olive wreath and bundle of arrows in the eagle's claws are strong and show all of their inner details. Every one of theletters in the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is sharp and clear. Theclouds above the eagle's head are boldly impressed and clearly outlined. The tiny "D" in the center of the second cloud from the right proves that this is the Dexter-Dunham specimen of the Class I 1804 Silver Dollar. This is the only specimen that was actually certified as genuine by the United States Mint. In 1887 Mint Superintendent A. Louden Snowden and Mint Assayers Jacob Eckfeldt and Patterson DuBois all certified that the Dexter Class I 1804 Silver Dollar was unquestionably authentic. For the technically minded collectors we note the reverse break extends only through NITED.The 1804 Silver Dollar has been rightly called The King of American Coins for more than half a century. It has always been the pinnacle of everycollector's dream. No collection of United States coins can ever become internationally recognized and famous until it includes an 1804Silver Dollar. Acquisition of an 1804 Silver Dollar is the sign that acollection has become mature. It marks the collector's entry into the hallowed halls of the greatest numismatists of all time, such as Garrett, Eliasberg, Childs, and duPont. There is no other United States coin that is so well known or so popular. From the bazaars of Morocco to the Champs d'Elysee, from the markets of Thailand to the canyons of Wall Street, everyone who works with money has heard of the1804 Silver Dollar. Books have been written about it, television showshave featured it, radio talk shows have discussed it. No other coin, not even the legendary Brasher Doubloon, can rival the worldwide fame and celebrity of the 1804 Silver Dollar. Within the past few years, the Eliasberg and Childs specimens of the 1804 Silver Dollar have set successive world record shattering prices at auction, fully establishing itself as "The King of American Coins." Often referred toas "America's most famous rare coin" or "the most desirable of all American coins," might not the Class I 1804 Silver Dollar also be the most famous and most desirable rare coin in the entire world? If not, then what is? Only 5 collectors in all the world will can crown their collections with "The King"! Although 8 were struck, three of them arenow in museums and are forever unavailable. One is in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C; a second is in the Durham Western Heritage Museum in Omaha, Nebraska; and the third is in the American Numismatic Association's Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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  • 2000-10-19
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La bourrique (The Pony-back ride)

Among William Bouguereaus two-figure compositions of peasant girls, La bourrique (The Pony-back Ride) is singular in its achievement. Rather than stiffly posing his young models to convey a particular expression or narrative, the scenes activity and dynamism implies that the viewer has stumbled upon these girls in their own world, in a moment of play, of make-believe. With great emotional and artistic intuition, Bouguereau creates a scene that conveys strength and vulnerability, uncertainty and confidence.Bouguereau was enjoying unprecedented commercial success when La bourrique was painted in 1884. Somewhat unusually, he submitted only one painting to the Paris Salon that year, his monumental twenty-foot wide tour de force, La jeunesse de Bacchus, featuring nineteen figures rejoicing through the forest. With roaring complexity and verve, this composition advertised, indisputably, Bouguereaus dominance of French Academic painting and drew gasps at the 1884 Salon, in London the following year, and at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1889. While La jeunesse de Bacchus revels in its Dionysian pleasure of the body, Bouguereau remains best-known for intimate and inward-looking portrayals of children and young women. He frequently turned to peasant subjects, and in so doing he plays off of his urban audience's envy for what they perceived as an uncomplicated, simpler and more gratifying way of life, where children were free from the societal expectations that bound those of the city. While their names are forgotten, the features of these two young girls are distinctly and affectionately rendered, making them easy to trace in a series of five paintings that Bouguereau sold between November 7 and December 5, 1884. In La leçon difficile (fig. 1, 1884, Private Collection, sold in these rooms, November 2, 2011, lot 112), the younger girl knowingly engages her mind and the viewer, while in Tricoteuse (fig. 2, 1884, Private Collection, sold in these rooms October 24, 2006, lot 87), the older girls attention is elsewhere and her hands are occupied these characteristic distinctions are present over each of the works. They emote a sense of world-weariness, anticipating adulthood and departing the innocence of childhood. In Parure des champs (fig. 3, 1884, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts) and La Pluie (fig. 4, 1884, location unknown), the older girl is seen crowning the younger model with flowers or protecting her from the elements, while the younger girl continues to stare out from the canvas, engaging the viewer with regal, sphinx-like stoicism. By comparison, La bourrique is an energized romp and captures a fleeting moment of youth. The older girls hands, knees and toes firmly planted in the earth, appearing strong and stable, smiling as she supports her younger sister (this work was referred to as Les deux soeurs since 1902). Gripping the reins of her collar, the younger sister smiles gently with an expression that suggests her thoughts are elsewhere. Her body language confirms that she is turning away from play and towards the viewer, while looking distantly towards something ahead of her. Neither engages us directly, unaware of, or indifferent to, the presence of an outsider. The young girls in La bourrique and the other paintings in this series were likely neighbors of Bouguereaus in La Rochelle, where he purchased a summer retreat in 1882. He often worked outdoors in the gardens or in the small orangerie which was converted into a studio. As in Paris, he worked exclusively from live models, asking working mothers in his neighborhood to bring their children to his studio in order for him to more accurately study their behaviors and movements. While many of his contemporaries worked from photographs, Bouguereau did not. It is through this constant and focused observation, the wizardry of translating from three dimensions to two, that the depth of his models expression is captured. The complex composition highlights Bouguereaus technical mastery, carefully differentiating soft skin, coarse linen and the foliage and wildflowers that recede to become a stage set. Many of Bouguereaus best paintings, like La bourrique, were promptly acquired by powerful American collectors. As Clarence Cook commented in his 1888 Art and Artists of Our Time, Hardly any French painter can be named who is more widely popular in America than Bouguereau. His pictures always meet with a ready sale at large prices, and at the exhibitions they are sure of approval from the majority of the visitors, who would probably pass by Delacroix, Decamps, or Puvis de Chavannes, with small notice, or none at all (as quoted in Fronia E. Wissman, Bouguereau, San Francisco, 1996, p. 108-9).  In his 1880 Art Treasures of America, Edward Strahan lists sixty-nine paintings by Bouguereau in fifty-seven of the most prestigious collections in the United States, including those of Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, John Jacob Astor, Colis P. Huntington, William Rockefeller and William Vanderbilt.  This American appetite was supported by Bouguereaus first dealer, Paul Durand-Ruel and, after 1865, by Adolphe Goupil, who bought La bourrique for 12,000 francs in December 1884. Within a year, it was acquired for 20,160 francs by Theo Van Gogh (1857-1891), a Dutch art dealer based in The Hague. Van Gogh had joined Goupils Brussels office in January 1873, the youngest employee of the firm, and went on to open the offices of Goupil in the Netherlands. He was instrumental in both further promoting Bouguereaus international reputation and, and the same time, persuading Goupil & Cie to exhibit and buy works by the Impressionists, including Claude Monet and Edgar Degas. Theo and his brother, Vincent Van Gogh, discussed the pulsing art market in their correspondence and recognized Bouguereaus dominant and influential position. In 1889, Vincent wrote to Theo about his painting La Berceuse (Woman Rocking a Cradle; Augustine-Alix Pellicot Roulin, 18511930), now in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Today I started work on a third Berceuse. I do know that its neither drawn nor painted as correctly as a Bouguereau, which I almost regret, as I seriously have the desire to be correct but although it isnt therefore fated to be a Cabanel or a Bouguereau, I yet hope that its French (January 30, 1889, letter 744, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. no. b622 V/1962). La bourrique was likely acquired directly from Van Gogh by Theron J. Blakeslee, proprietor of the Blakeslee Gallery at 353 Fifth Avenue and later of 665 Fifth Avenue. Blakeslee was enormously influential in cultivating American collecting tastes, combining works by the Old Masters and contemporary (nineteenth-century) masterpieces on the gilded walls of the countrys industrialists. In addition to promoting the works of Bouguereau, he exhibited works by the American artist Elizabeth Gardner, Bouguereaus student and later his wife, as early as 1879. Blakeslee actively sourced for private collectors and institutional clients such as the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., among others. La bourrique was the only Bouguereau included in Blakeslees two day sale in April 1902. It was noted in the sale catalog that the work was carefully worked out in detail, and the flesh tones particularly brilliant. The New York Times reported that La bourrique sold for $4,400 to Arthur Tooth & Sons, a price surpassed only by portraits by Sir Thomas Lawrence and Sir Anthony van Dyck and a landscape by John Constable, adding that there was a large attendance at the Blakeslee sales of pictures among the fashionable people, and the [salesroom] at Mendelssohn Hall resembled an opera night with women in pretty evening gowns and men in evening dress (April 12, 1902).  The painting was purchased by Winthrop M. Crane, then Governor of Massachusetts and an heir to the Crane Paper Company. His grandfather, Stephen Crane, had founded the Liberty Paper Mill in 1770, five miles outside of Boston, and sold bank note type paper to the engraver, Paul Revere, who used it to print the American colonies first paper money. Together with his brother, Zenas M. Crane, Winthrop grew the familys highly successful enterprise and amassed an impressive collection of European and American masterpieces, which laid the foundation for the Berkshire Museum when it opened in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 1903. Signed W-BOUGUEREAU- and dated 1884 (lower right) 

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  • 2018-05-22
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Study for The Betrothal

"Drawing is the basis of art. A bad painter cannot draw. But one who draws well can always paint. Drawing gives the artist the ability to control his line and hand. It develops in him the precision of line and touch. This is the path towards a masterwork" -Arshile Gorky (Arshile Gorky quoted in Karen Mooradian, Arshile Gorky Adoian, Chicago, 1978, p. 276) Executed in 1947 at the peak of Arshile Gorkys success and the year prior to his tragic and premature death, Study for Betrothal is a fully realized and extraordinarily accomplished study for one of the most cerebral and captivating compositions of Gorkys celebrated artistic career. Having fled the Armenian Genocide, in 1920 Gorky arrived in New York where he found himself utterly inspired. Now in his purview, the art and intellectual discourse of the city prompted Gorky to engulf himself in a self education of the history and practice of his peers and artists he delighted in, such as Wassily Kandinsky. As a primarily self-taught artist, Gorky was academic in the study of his predecessors and, with the emergence of Surrealism onto the New York art scene in the 1940s, Gorky discovered yet another exciting approach from which to be inspired. Stimulated by the free flowing and ethereal qualities associated with the surrealist practice, in Study for Betrothal Gorky at once references the work of artists such as Marcel Duchamp, while succinctly departing from their automatism to create a style undeniably his own. Indeed, as then Director of the Whitney Museum Lloyd Goodrich said in 1951 shortly following the death of the artist, [Gorky] never imitated the mere mannerisms, the superficial characteristics of the artists he admired. Always he strove for an understanding of the fundamental elements of their work, and there was nothing coldly intellectual in his use of others art. His own artistic nature was rich, so deeply sensuous, so healthily physical, so much in love with pigment and color, line and form that everything he touched, even in his most obviously influenced works, was himself." (Lloyd Goodrich quoted in Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Arshile Gorky, New York, 1966, p. 16) This inimitable style solidified Gorkys output as the bridge between the New York School and European modernism and in turn paved the way for the Abstract Expressionism, which would alter the course of artistry in the post-war period. Lyrical in its structure, lines float across the space of the composition to create the elegant and deliberate presentation of the sensual biomorphic forms of Study for Betrothal. Latent lines of the broadly anatomical figures are reinforced in soft pencil, and accents of delicate robins egg blue are used to suggestively highlight the bulging and recessing forms, intensifying the rhythmic dance of the figures across the canvas. A precursor to three major oil paintings which reside in the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Study for Betrothal is one of the most formalized of the artists drawings. In the words of the artist, Drawing is the basis of art Drawing gives the artist the ability to control his line and hand. It develops in him the precision of line and touch. This is the path towards a masterwork. (Arshile Gorky quoted in Karen Mooradian, Arshile Gorky Adoian, Chicago, 1978, p. 276) While Study for the Betrothal and its resulting paintings elude simple explanation, Gorkys persistent approach to the title subject suggests a focus on sexuality and conjugal relations, perhaps encouraged by the volatile relationship with his second wife Agnes Magruder at that time. Certainly, the mystery in the paintings was not unintentional, and calls upon the viewer to decipher for themselves the intricacies of the narratives of marital life presented both the good and the bad. As such, not only is it a mesmerizing work but also a deeply personal creation. This work is recorded in the Arshile Gorky Foundation Archives under number D1492.

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  • 2018-05-17
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[ Silver Dollars - Coins - United States of America ] 1885 Trade

[ Silver Dollars - Coins - United States of America ] 1885 Trade Dollar. Brilliant Proof, with strong claims to Choice. Of the Highest Rarity: one of only 5 known. The Debut Specimen, this being the first one ever offered for sale at auction, way back in 1913. At that time, it was famous collector H.O. Granberg's personal specimen. In 1950, famous old time dealer B. Max Mehl described this coin as ``Perfect brilliant Proof gem.'' The coin has brightly reflective, full deep mirror fields with blazing Proof flash visible everywhere. Liberty's figure on the front and the eagle on the reverse are lightly frosty. There is light russet iridescent toning on the obverse and reverse and some few hairlines. The coin has all the required attributes of a special Proof strike made at the Philadelphia Mint to exacting government standards. This coin is rarer than an 1804 Silver Dollar and rarer than even a Brasher Doubloon. In fact, it is so rare it is tied with the 1913 Liberty Nickel as being one of the rarest and most desirable of all great American numismatic classics. (NGC PF61) {cp8}( SEE COLOR PLATE) Ex Worrell Collection (Superior, September 1993, lot 1325); earlier, ex Hoffecker Collection (Superior, February 1987, lot 1446B); Auction'84 (Superior, lot 192); Amon Carter, Jr. Collection ( Stack's, January 1984, lot 441); Jerome Kern Collection (B. Max Mehl, May 1950, lot 897); Mehl's sale of June 1945, lot 628; H.O. Granberg Collection (B. Max Mehl, July 1913, lot 392).

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  • 2003-05-15
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Silver dollar, 1893-s, pcgs ms 65 cac

A stunning example. A full, remarkably sharp strike in every respect: the hairs over Libertys ear are well-delineated, and the eagles feathers are full; the beading is crisp and distinct. Struck from dies so fresh that the mint engravers original die polish striae can be seen under magnification. Apart from a faint pair of lines in front of Libertys profile, both the obverse and reverse fields and devices are effectively unblemished, even under significant magnification. A thin obverse die crack runs from the first U of UNUM through the first three stars on the obverse; on the reverse a similarly thin crack extends from the second T in STATES to the C of AMERICA. There is a halo of faint golden tone at the peripheries, but most noticeable on the obverse. The entire coin exhibits a lovely soft, satiny cream tone, with small clouds of blue in the obverse fields. A virtually un-improvable gem of the first water. ONE OF THE FINEST KNOWN EXAMPLES OF THE CLASSIC MORGAN DOLLAR RARITY. The 1893-S Morgan dollar is by virtue of its mintage, 100,000, the rarest regular issue coin in the series. It is undoubtedly the key to the Morgan dollar series, and is the one date that in high grade seems to elude even some of the best current registry sets. For example, of the current top ten PCGS registry sets, the finest two examples are graded MS 63 (and none of the other six enumerated on the website are above AU condition). It is one of only two Morgan dollars included in Jeff Garrett and Ron Guths, 100 Greatest U.S. Coins, 2008 (number 38). The full provenance of this coin is as yet unknown. It appears that its only appearance at auction was as part of the Antelope Valley Silver Dollar Collection (Bowers and Merena, 7-8 January 1993, lot 128). The collection was consigned to sale through the offices of Barry Stuppler of the Gold and Silver Emporium, Encino, California, sole representative of the owner (p.24). In mid-1992 John Highfills Encyclopedia described the Elliot Goodman Morgan Dollar Collection, which was begun in August 1990. It was assembled [u]nder the instructions of Antelope Valley Newspapers Inc. by Elliot Goodman, of Allstate Coin Co., Tuscon, Arizona. The aim was to assemble the worlds finest collection of Morgan dollars. The listing that followed (pp. 308-309) indicates that many of the goals were met, for the collection contained any number of extraordinary and finest known examples. A comparison of the listing in Highfill to the coins in the auction catalogue leaves no doubt that they were the same. However, the original listing in Highfill only cites an MS 63 example of the 1893-S. The sale catalogue, however, notes specifically that the appearance of two mint state 1893-S dollars in one collection was then unprecedented. This coin, therefore, must have entered the collection shortly before being consigned for sale. However, the catalogue description provided no information as to its prior ownership, and its characteristics do not match any of the descriptions of the superb examples provided by Wayne Miller (pp. 139-140). There have been few appearances of PCGS MS 65 examples of this classic rarity. Since this example was sold in 1993, the PCGS auction data indicate that there have been only two appearances of comparably graded examples. The Amon Carter example appeared in March 1995 in the Heritage Early Spring ANA sale, lot 5688 ($154,000), and most recently, the Eliasberg example (sold uncertified April, 1997, lot 2294 [$198,000]) was most recently sold by Legend Rare Coin Auctions, October, 2014, lot 290 (PCGS MS 65 CAC [$646,250]; according to the PCGS auction data the highest price on record). The most recent appearance of a mint state example was in January 2018 (PCGS MS 61 Secure, non CAC certified, $204,000 [Heritage]). Certificate number: 3147212 (Generation 3 holder). At the time it was certified PCGS had graded only three MS 65 examples of the date, and one finer (MS 67); the current census is five comparable examples, and a single example finer (MS 67). CAC has certified two examples at this grade, and a single MS 67. (02-18)

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  • 2018-05-21
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Silver dollar, 1884-s, pcgs ms 67 cac

An absolutely spectacular coin. The strike is sharp, with rich detail evident on both sides from the centers to the borders. Fully lustrous, with splendid cartwheel effect. A vibrant coin, overlaid with a lovely light, creamy gold hue, which deepens subtly toward the area near the date. The surfaces are nearly perfect and unblemished regardless of how the light plays on them. An extraordinary coin in every sense. FORMERLY IN THE JACK LEE COLLECTION Although the 1884-S had a healthy mint run and 3,200,000 were produced, most appear to have found their way into circulation and the survival of mint state examples is low. Wayne Miller ranked the date as rarity 10 (of 12) in grades of MS 60, and at rarity 11 in MS 65. The most famous 1884-S is that which graced the George Bodway collection and was part of the PCGS Tour (see Highfill, 2017, p. 1233 for an illustration). In 1994, along with the entire Bodway collection, it was sold to Jack Lee, who amassed what is universally acknowledged as the finest collection of Morgan silver dollars ever assembled. The present coin has only recently been published in the new edition of Highfill (2017) as having been Jack Lee's finest example prior to his acquisition of the Bodway specimen. According to Lee's own listing (p. 482) it was the finest known example as of June 18, 1992. His own listing indicates that at that time he also owned yet another example graded PCGS MS 65 (ex-John Highfill and noted by Lee as the second finest known). This piece appears to have been acquired for this collection from Jefferson Coin and Bullion probably between 1994 and 1995. Graded by PCGS as MS 67 it is unique at the grade, with only the Bodway-Lee coin exceeding it in grade. The third finest example is a single PCGS MS 65 (possibly the Highfill-Lee coin noted above). PCGS records eleven examples as MS 64. NGC has graded a single coin as MS 66 and nothing finer. CAC has had two hundred and ninety-five submissions of the date, and has certified six examples as MS 64 nothing finer, except this coin, which is, again, unique at the grade. The combined auction data of PCGS and NGC record the highest graded and certified examples appearing at public sale being an NGC MS 65 (in an NGC 17 holder [circa 2004-2008]) which was sold at Heritage, January 2009, for $149,500; and a PCGS MS 64 Secure [CAC] (in a Generation 4.4 holder [circa 2010-2011]) by Legend Rare Coin Auctions, October 2014 for $164,500 [the record price for the date]). NOTHING APPROACHING THE CERTIFIED GRADE OF THE PRESENTLY OFFERED EXAMPLE IS RECORDED AS HAVING EVER APPEARED AT PUBLIC AUCTION. THIS IS THE SINGLE FINEST EXAMPLE CERTIFIED BY CAC. Certificate number: 4069761 (Generation 3.1 holder). PCGS cites one example at MS 65; one (this coin) at MS 67; and one finer (MS 68); the finest single example listed by NGC is graded MS 66. CAC records this coin as the finest it has certified, nothing else finer than MS 64 is cited. (02-18)

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  • 2018-05-21
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[ USA - COINS ] 1933 Superb Gem Brilliant Uncirculated. Almost certainly

[ USA - COINS ] 1933 Superb Gem Brilliant Uncirculated. Almost certainly the finest known example of this last date of $10 coinage, this totally satisfying example offers smooth, magnificent amber- glowing mint frost enriching a meticulous strike. Lustre and strike are both finer than those of typical 1933?s described by gold coin researcher David W. Akers. The digit ?1? in the date is only marginally less sharp than the ?933?, and the richly lustrous surfaces are free of the copper spots cited by Akers. Close study under magnification reveals two minute tics on Liberty?s jaw, one over the ?P? of PLURIBUS that keep this exciting super-Gem from an even higher grade. There was never any question of legality for the Gold Eagles of 1933, as a small number was lawfully released. U.S. Mint records record six shipments of 1933 Eagles made between Jan.19, 1933 and March 3, comprising 312,500 pieces. The first batch was delivered on Jan. 19, 1933 with 100 reserved and shipped to the Treasurer of the U.S. for departmental assay. A total of 313 Eagles were sent for examination and testing by the U.S. Assay Commission which met on February 14 and 15, 1934. Nearly the entire 1933 mintage was subsequently remelted, pursuant to President Franklin D. Roosevelt?s orders suspending coinage and circulation of gold. The Eagles not destroyed after the Assay Commission meeting of 1934 were returned to the U.S. Mint Cashier?s Department, headed by Cashier George A. McCann, later a key figure in the controversy over the escape of the 1933 Double Eagles through Philadelphia jeweler Israel Switt (see below). In his 1980 United States Gold Coins, an Analysis of Auction Records, Volume V, Eagles, researcher David W. Akers estimated the total number of 1933 Eagles extant at 30 to 40, tracing only 20 auction appearances between 1944 and 1978. Akers? 1988 Handbook of 20th Century United States Gold Coins reduced his estimate of survivors to 30-34 pieces, stating ?I do not know of any Superb (MS-67) examples, but the Delp, Bareford, Kruthoffer, Eliasberg and Stack?s October Sale specimens were all gems, and the Einstein Collection coin was very close.? The late Walter Breen wrote ?About 1952, a small hoard, possibly 20-30 in all, probably the majority of the coins issued, showed up on the East Coast. (I studied eight of them on a single tray in 1953: gem mint-state beauties).? The Jeff Garrett-John Dannreuther The Official Red Book of Auction Records, 1994-2003, U.S. Gold Coinage, records only eight appearances of this date, ranging from the Brilliant Uncirculated examples in Stack?s The population reports of major third-party grading services underscore the remarkable rarity of this date in any grade. Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) has graded ten pieces: two in MS-63, five in MS-64, two in MS- 65, and only one in MS66! Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) reports 21: one in MS-62; two in MS-63; 12 in MS-64 and six in MS-65. No coin has been assigned a higher grade by either service, and no known unincapsulated example equals or exceeds the present offering, whose appearance offers an historic opportunity for today?s collectors. NGC MS66. (SEE COLOR PLATE)

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  • 2004-10-15
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Återrop

Le petit câlin

Le petit câlin is one of a series of major canvases that William Bouguereau painted in 1878 featuring a young woman holding and caring for an infant child. Experimenting with poses and expressions, in each of these he captures a fleeting moment of intimacy between the two figures, allowing Bouguereau to demonstrate his technical virtuosity through the complex interlacing of arms and hands, balance of weight and offering of support. Painted as nearly life-size vertical portraits and set in front of a loosely painted landscape, Bouguereau lends his models an iconic stature. In his biography on the artist, Marius Vachon discusses the artist's mother and child paintings, which are greatly instructed by the fifteenth century Italian paintings of the Madonna and Child. He writes: "From the outset, the paintings of the Italian masters revealed to the artist the beauty inherent in youth, the seduction in a smile, the grace in simplicity. Above all he paints young mothers, with their children. This theme, which had been interpreted in an inexhaustible variety of ways, and always with new eloquence, inspired him to paint works of an infinite charm, the figure types were generally borrowed from the Italians" (as translated from the French Marius Vachon, W. Bouguereau, 1900, p. 92). Le petit câlin clearly shows the influence of Raphäel, whom Bouguereau revered.  With his paintings owing as much to the sacred as to the profane, Bouguereau's choice of the simple and innocent lives of Roman peasants as his subjects eloquently served his artistic aims.  The present composition's saturated, jewel-like colors recall the Renaissance masters: the rich blue of the mother's skirt complimented by her crimson kerchief, and the deep greens of shadowy foliage acting as a background. The baby grips her chemise while her splayed fingers press against the soft skin of her own arm, creating a naturalistic truth in their representation. The viewer can appreciate the tender emotion shared between the two, as the young woman glances adoringly at the little charmer, whose face is seen gently smiling in profile. Bouguereau's interest in visualizing their connection is readily compared with his Jeune fille et enfant (1878, location unknown) in which the figure is seen from behind, standing with the baby draped across her arms. The artist completed five variations on this theme between 1878-79, including Le petit câlin, leading the chronicler Adrien Dézamy to note in his May 1879 review, Contemporary Art, "No one on earth writes of women and children better than Victor Hugo, and one could say of Mr. Bouguereau that no one of our time paints women and children better than he!" 1878 was a momentous year for Bouguereau. To celebrate its recovery after the Franco-Prussian war, France hosted the Exposition Universelle, the biggest ever worlds fair to date. Electric lighting was installed on certain avenues, audiences were introduced to Alexander Graham Bells telephone and the completed head of the Statue of Liberty was showcased. Bouguereau assembled a critical retrospective of his own work from the previous decade, including masterpieces such as La Nymphée (1878, Haggin Museum, Stockton, California) and Une âme en ciel (1878, Périgord Museum of Art and Archeology, Périgueux, France), among nearly a dozen others for which he was awarded a medal of honor. In total, over 13,000,000 people attended the fair, which certainly helped to propel Bouguereaus international fame to new heights, and contributed to his enormous success in America, as many of his best paintings were acquired by wealthy Americans (see lot 24, La bourrique; lot 25, Lagneau nouveau né and lot 27, Portrait de jeune fille). The artists legendary first dealer, Durand-Ruel, had been cultivating that interest and guiding his output. Robert Isaacson writes that "Durand-Ruel introduced Bouguereau to one of his painters, Hugues Merle (see lot 35), who was having an enormous success with compositions of the mother and baby, brother and sister sort... Bouguereau was urged to try his hand at this genre, and his success with it is part of history" (Robert Isaacson, "Collecting Bouguereau in England an America," William Bouguereau: 1825 1905, exh. cat., Paris, 1984, p. 104). As he grew into his artistic and commercial maturity, and because of the strength of his output, Bouguereau was persuaded to accept an exclusive and much more lucrative contract with Goupil, and it is no surprise that after they acquired Le petit câlin its next appearance was in New York at Knoedler, responsible for promoting the artist and his work with collectors from New England to the Midwest. Signed W-BOUGUEREAU- and dated 1878 (lower left)

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  • 2018-05-22
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BRITISH COINS, MILLED GOLD SOVEREIGNS, Edward VIII

BRITISH COINS, MILLED GOLD SOVEREIGNS, Edward VIII (acceded 20 January, abdicated 10 December 1936, died 25 May 1972), Gold Proof Sovereign, 1937, bare head of King facing left, HP initials below for engraver Thomas Humphrey Paget, legend surrounding reads EDWARDVS VIII D: G: BR: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:, finely toothed border within twin concentric circles and raised rim both sides, rev struck en médaille, St George with flowing cloak and helmet with streamer, slaying dragon with sword, broken lance on ground to lower left, date in exergue, engraver initials B.P. to upper right for late Benedetto Pistrucci, edge finely milled, 8.04g (Bentley -; Marsh -; Dyer p.23-24 and plate D; WR 434 R6; Giordano P11; cf S.4063 p.506). Light hairlines peppering field on both sides, deeper hairline from bridge of nose into field, cloudy patch on the reverse field in front of horse's head with short scratch within, further light scratch in field above lance, otherwise brilliant with a frosted cameo design and lettering, practically as struck and of the highest rarity, the only solo example currently available to collectors and the first opportunity to obtain this coin in a London sale in nearly 30 years. <br> ex Spink, bought privately, October 1981 <br> ex Professor R E Gibson, Collection of Sovereigns and Half-Sovereigns, Spink Auction 40, 6-7 December 1984, lot 640 and inside front cover illustration, sold for £40,000 hammer, by far the highest price in the sale <br> ex "100 Choice Coins", Ginza Coin 20th Anniversary Auction, Tokyo, Japan, 22 November 2008, lot 949 <br> For further specific reading please see: <br> The Proposed Coinage of King Edward VIII, by G P Dyer, published 1973 <br> Portraits of a Prince - Coins Medals and Banknotes of Edward VIII, by Joseph S Giordano Jr, published 2009 <br> A King's Story, The Memoirs of HRH The Duke of Windsor KG, published 1951 <br> Of the greatest rarity in the modern Proof Sovereign series, Edward VIII who controversially abdicated his throne for the woman he loved, was about to authorise a new coinage to be ready in time for his Coronation in 1937, and subsequently no British currency coin was issued for use by the public. <br> This example of his proof Sovereign is the only single coin available to collectors. There being only one other example in private hands as an integral part of a complete set of the proposed coinage of King Edward VIII. Notably the recent Bentley Collection did not possess an example. This is only the third time this actual coin has ever been publicly auctioned, and the first time it has been seen for sale in the UK since its first auction outing in 1984. <br> <br> The coinage was controversial from Edward's refusal to follow coinage tradition in facing in the opposite direction to his predecessor, his father King George V who had faced left. This tradition started with King Charles II who wished to face the opposite way to Oliver Cromwell, and has been followed ever since, except for Edward VIII who preferred his left facing profile. An account of the King's own discussions with the Deputy Master, Sir Robert Johnson is detailed in his memoirs (pp.293-294), and reveals that the mint went as far as instructing the artist in favour, T H Paget, to transfer the King's left side facial features to a right facing portrait (the hair was not included in this swap) before the King had to insist on his left portrait only for coins and stamps, as was his privilege. <br> These meetings, portrait sittings and presentation of plaster models occurred between 21 February and 28 April 1936 (Dyer pp.2-4), at which point the Deputy Master had to report to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the King insisted on facing left, which was approved. <br> Looking back at contemporary reports about a proposed new coinage for King Edward VIII, it is interesting to quote one of the earliest announcements by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Neville Chamberlain in the House of Commons from the 9 July 1936, where "in accordance with custom" specimen sets, of the first issue of coins of King Edward VIII would be issued to collectors and others requiring them. Sets of gold coins would be available at special prices to all who applied. Full details would be publicly announced and the issue would be available to applicants both at home and overseas. Most significantly the report ends with news that "A Coronation set of gold coins consists of four pieces - £5, £2, £1 and a half-sovereign" (reported in the Daily Telegraph, 10 July 1936, repeated in the Spink Numismatic Circular August 1936, p.283). <br> Within the miniscule number of existing proof sets of Edward VIII's coinage (only one of which is in private hands), there is of course no physical Half-Sovereign, none ever being struck, but this announcement shows that it was at least proposed as of July of 1936, even though the final designs had not been approved at that date. As time was of the essence, trial strikes of proposed obverse portraits and reverse designs were shown to the King for final approval 24 July 1936, where he chose the bare head left facing effigy by T H Paget to represent him on the obverse of British coins, and a crowned bust by Percy Metcalfe for the Dominions. The classic St George and dragon design after Pistrucci was chosen for gold coinage reverses, and a series of heraldic designs for the reverses of the silver denominations by Kruger Gray. The new dodecagonal brass Threepence with a thrift plant design was by Madge Kitchener, the Penny by C W Coombes, the Halfpenny design was adapted from a Halfcrown proposal by T H Paget, and the Farthing with the wren by H Wilson Parker (Dyer pp.12-19). <br> In the interim between the House of Commons announcement, and the manufacture of dies and striking of the extremely rare proof coins, the decision was made to omit the gold Half-Sovereign from the proposed Coronation gold sets, the denominations of which all have milled edges, and that the sets were to be priced high enough to keep orders at a modest level (Dyer pp.23-24) <br> This decision to not have a Half-Sovereign was viewed as numismatically controversial of the mint, and the later Coronation gold sets issued by King George VI did include all four gold coins, albeit all with plain edge to emphasise that they were "patterns" and not meant to circulate. <br> King Edward VIII abdicated 10 December, at which point in time a set of the new coins was almost ready for final approval (Dyer p.1) all with the portrait by T H Paget, who had so impressed the King previously with his left facing portrait on the Master Mariner medal (Giordano CM139) when Prince of Wales. <br> The Royal Mint reports for 1935-1936 from Deputy Master Sir Robert Johnson (issued December 1937; reported in The Times 23 December 1937 and repeated in the Spink Numismatic Circular March 1938, pp.96-97), revealed that at the time of the abdication in December 1936, some 200 dies for coins, medals, and seals that had been prepared for use, had to be scrapped. The whole process of preparation for a new coinage, medals and seals, started all over again for King George VI, though the chosen artists for the obverse portraiture remained the same as for Edward VIII, being Mr Paget and Mr Metcalfe. <br> In his publication, Giordano has tried to trace the whereabouts of all the sets and singles of the actual proof coins, and they are listed in a table on page 254. In relation to the gold Sovereign, Giordano gives a total of six examples in existence (with which we concur), two of which are held privately (one being an integral part of a complete set), the other four Sovereigns are all in institutions and integral parts of complete sets. The locations of the four sets in institutions are listed as Royal Family, British Museum and two in the Royal Mint. The Royal Family acquired their set as of 1 June 1938 (Giordano letter A, p.256). The Royal Collection Trust currently list an entry for their Sovereign on their website with identification number RCIN 443664, but an illustration is yet to appear in the public domain. <br> The Royal Mint took an inventory of what they had 12 September 1950 after the discovery of a group of coins in a sealed box in the late Deputy Master's safe, and found they had three complete sets, one of which later went to the British Museum (Giordano p.253 and letter B, p.257), and the Department of Coins and Medals there have so far listed online only the silver coins, again all yet to be illustrated in the public domain. <br> An interesting epilogue revealed in the Giordano publication, is that the Duke of Windsor later tried to obtain a set of the proof coins for himself from the Royal Mint, as evidenced from a Deputy Master memorandum of 3 December 1951 (Giordano letter C, p.258), which eventually had to be deferred for an answer from the King himself, who said "no" to his elder brother's request. The Duke died 25 May 1972, presumably having never owned or handled one of the finished coins depicting his left facing portrait, over which such great effort was expended. An unrivalled opportunity occurs now to bid for and own a piece of history that not even the Duke of Windsor had the privilege to own or handle. This is the only King Edward VIII gold Sovereign available that is not an integral component part of a proof set.

  • GBRStorbritannien
  • 2014-05-08
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[ COINS ] Massachusetts Silver Coins 1652 Willow Tree Coins Willow

[ COINS ] Massachusetts Silver Coins 1652 Willow Tree Coins Willow Tree Threepence Noe 1-A Willow Tree Threepence. Crosby Unlisted 1652 Massachusetts Bay Colony. Willow Tree Threepence. Noe 1-A Cr. unlisted W. 7. R-8. 17.1 gns. Very Fine. The Noe Census Coin #2. The Noe Plate Coin. The Wurtzbach Plate Coin. The obverse and reverse of this piece are pale silver gray in color. There are traces of iridescent rose and blue on both sides with some light russet showing particularly on the back. On the obverse the tree is completely the central guide dot is bold the root structure is visible and the inner beaded border is complete. The letters in the legend around this side are mostly complete and struck up and all can be read save for N in IN at the upper left. On the back the date is full the denomination is a little jumbled but can still be seen nearly complete and the peripheral legend around the side is also complete save for N DOM (if those letters were ever on the die in the first place). For some inexplicable reason there is a countermark at the upper right edge on the reverse which some may consider an attempted puncture but probably was not. Its purpose and meaning is obscure but its presence is essentially irrelevant given the importance of the piece. Any stray marks the coin may have picked up in its long life are also insignificant and need not be mentioned here. Exceptionally rare: one of just three known and the only one ever available for purchase by a collector. The other two examples known are the specimen in the ANS collection and the one stolen from Yale University and still not recovered. The last time a Willow Threepence was offered for public sale was in the 1926 French Collection (Sotheby's London) and before that in the 1935 Lincoln Sale (Spink London). The last time one was sold publicly in the USA was in the 1890 Parmelee auction. Mabel Garvan bought the piece out of the French sale and it went from her to Yale. Wurtzbach bought the one from the Lincoln sale and it went from him to T. James Clarke and then to Boyd. The Parmelee coin was bought by Brand and on his death it went from his estate to Armin Brand B.G. Johnson and finally to the ANS in 1944 for a handsome $750. That was the last time one of these was sold in any way public or private. There were three known in 1935 when the Lincoln collection was sold and that number has not increased since. Described by Breen as ''Threepence. (W-7). Only three known; one of them (the finest) is in Yale Univ and the coin here offered is the finer of the two in collector's hands in spite of an attempted puncture at the D (before N of NEW). V.Fine for this poorly struck coin. Ex Wurtzbach 1938 B.G. Johnson W.S. Lincoln Coll. 149 (Spink March 1935). Ill. in the Guidebook the Spink catalogue and Noe's Plate XIV.'' Like the larger Sixpence the letters in the legends on each side are decently sized shaped and spaced. The inner and outer beaded borders were well done. The centers show problems. The tree is a hodge podge of lines and loops none of which really resemble leaves and in sum do not come very close to looking much like a tree either. The date and denominational numerals are a jumbled mix of different sizes each of which seems to slant in a different direction. Since the tree and numerals were the highest parts of the rocker dies perhaps necessity is more to account for the poor execution of those elements than lack of skill. Otherwise it might be necessary to posit two hands on these dies which seems uneconomical of a solid Puritan businessman like Hull. Provenance as stated above.

  • USAUSA
  • 2005-10-18
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[ Coins ] 1861 Original Confederate States of America Silver Half

[ Coins ] 1861 Original Confederate States of America Silver Half Dollar. Extremely rare: one of only four struck, two of which are permanently impounded in museum collections. This specimen believed on the evidence to have been Confederate States of America President Jefferson Davis' personal coin. Very Fine. 190.5 grains. The only specimen avaliable for sale. The first time an example has been offered at auction in nearly 100 years. Described at length by Walter Breen as specimen No. 4, ``New Orleans Mint to Jefferson Davis via Memminger,'' on page 240 of his 1977 Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins. The obverse is a light combination of pale gray, faint rose-gold, and very delicate blue around the rim. The reverse is more silver in color, with some areas of moderate toning around the rim. The obverse was somewhat softly struck, particularly on Liberty's hair and her left shoulder. Full drapery can be seen in the space below her elbow, and the die is broken from nose to the rim above. On the reverse the design was much more sharply impressed, as expected from this deeply hand-cut die. In the center the seven stars at the top of the shield superimposed upon the horizontal lines are mostly sharp save for those at the lowest left. The vertical lines in the shield were either never drawn in the die or were cut so deep that they do not appear sharply impressed on this example. Above, the Liberty cap on pole is clear and sharp, the leaves in the oak branch to the left and the palm branch to the right are clear and sharp, and the inner spaces within the loops of the bow that ties the two together are clear to the naked eye. All the letters in the all important legend CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA HALF DOL. are crisp and clear. The surfaces are somewhat reflective, particularly the reverse, showing that this piece (as the other three) was struck from polished dies on a freshly polished planchet. While the New Orleans Mint did not produce Proofs of the Philadelphia Mint sort, by using polished planchets and polished dies the product from the press had many of the appearance factors of a Philadelphia Mint Proof. The edge is reeded as expected and the piece has all the appearances of a standard federal half dollar until it is turned over! There is one shallow rim bruise at the upper left on the reverse but no other halfway important detriments that require mention. The piece clearly has been treasured by its owner for many, many years, the apparent signs of its having been a keepsake serve to underline its probable pedigree to Confederate States of America President Jefferson Davis. {cp8}(SEE COLOR PLATE) Ex Schnur, Clark, unknown intermediaries, Bream, unnamed Union officer, Jefferson Davis.

  • USAUSA
  • 2003-10-15
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Återrop

Faubourg de Constantinople

Alberto Pasini visited Constantinople (modern Istanbul) at least three times before the death of his friend and patron Sultan Abdul Aziz in 1876.1  Many of the Orientalist paintings that he produced as a result of these travels featured the bustling Turkish marketplace, a site that Pasini used as an opportunity to both document and dream.  In the present work, painted in Paris and exhibited to great acclaim at the Salon of 1877 and at the Exposition Universelle the following year,2 Pasinis philosophy is clear: Non sempre veritiero, the artist said of his compelling compositions, ma sempre verosimile.  [Not always truthful, but always likely.] The picture is set on the shores of the Bosporus, under a blue sky and at the foot of a public fountain.3  It is summer, as the abundance of watermelon attest.  To the left, crowds of people gather together to barter, trade, and converse. Dogs and horses are also present, subtle reminders of Pasinis consummate skill as an equestrian and animal painter.  (The muscular haunches of Pasinis horses are a virtual signature of the artist, and an integral part of nearly every outdoor composition.)  Many of the figures recur in others of Pasinis works, their carefully recorded clothing and distinctive accessories adding an ethnographic gloss and a sense of familiarity to the exotic scenes. Here, the confectionery-colored dresses and diminutive parasols of the veiled women provide a virtual catalogue of the fashions of the day, which can be traced and expanded from composition to composition (fig. 1).4  Such incidental details delighted Pasinis contemporaries, who wrote of this work with unrestrained enthusiasm: Voilà de la couleur vive et de la lumière et du soleil!  Quel éclat!  quelle vivacité!  quel éblouissement pour les yeux, que cette mer bleue, ces coupoles blanches, ces arbres verts, ces murs dun jaune doré, et cette foule bariolée, Turcs, Grecs, Arméniens, Européens, Juifs, Arabes, nègres, marchandes de pastèques, de fleurs et doranges, femmes avec leurs parasols ouverts, et enveloppées de robes de toutes les couleurs nonseulement de larc-en-ciel, mais inventées par les chefs de rayons des magasins du Louvre et du Bon Marché, les plus vives, les plus étincelantes et plus claires, rose, bleu tendre, jaune brilliant, lilas, vert deau, etc.  Rien de plus vivant, de plus joli, de plus gai, de plus animé et de plus animant.  Cest tout léclat, la lumière et la couleur de Stamboul . . .  Cest à donner envie de partir sur lheure pour Constantinople. [Here is the bright color and the light and the sun! What a shine! What vivacity! The blue sea, the white cupolas, the green trees, the golden yellow walls, and the multicolored crowd of Turks, Greeks, Armenians, Europeans, Jews, Arabs, negroes, watermelon merchants, flowers and oranges, women with their open umbrellas, and wrapped in robes of all colors not only of the rainbow, but invented by the heads of stores of the Louvre and Bon Marché, the most vivid, the most sparkling and clear, pink, soft blue, brilliant yellow, lilac, sea green, etc. Nothing more lively, more beautiful, more gay, more animated and more animating. It is all the brilliancy, the light, and the color of Stamboul . . . It is enough to make you want to leave immediately for Constantinople.]5 To the right of this vibrant scene a colorful cross-section of nineteenth-century Turkish society that, this critic suggests, shows Pasini at his best is the cool blue of the water.  The monochrome palette here, uniting sea and sky, is broken only by the white form of a distant mosque.  Its distinctive semicircular window and single pencil minaret bears some resemblances to Dolmabahçe, but other features do not comply (fig. 2).6  The fountain seems a product of Pasinis imagination as well, though aspects of its decoration may have been based on photographs of popular Turkish sites (fig. 3).7  Such effortless synthesis of fact and fiction was typical of Pasinis compositions, and indeed was one of the qualities that impressed contemporaries the most. The harmony is so accurate, the drawing so fine, and the animated figures on the steps form such a natural scene, wrote the critic Jules Castagnary in 1870, that, on seeing [Pasinis picture], I wholly forgot my former detestation of orientalism (Salons, 1892, p. 410). Several versions of the present work are known, affirming both Pasinis passion for the subject, and contemporary audiences enthusiasm for it.8  M.A. Verdé-Delisle, one of the first recorded owners of Faubourg de Constantinople, was a well-known collector of Orientalist art; several pictures by Eugène Fromentin were in the Verdé-Delisle collection. This catalogue note was written by Emily M. Weeks, Ph.D. 1 The Sultan had commissioned four military subjects from the artist for Dolmabahçe Palace; these works, all dated 1868-9, are still included in the Palace collections today. 2 After studying lithography at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Parma, Pasini moved to Paris in 1851 and became a regular contributor to the annual Salon. Pasinis interest in Eastern travel may have been indebted to his studies with Théodore Chassériau, and, through the dealer Adolphe Goupil, a meeting with Jean-Léon Gérôme. (Pasini may in fact have acted as tour guide to his beloved Istanbul during Gérômes trip to that city in 1875.) 3 Considered the supreme act of charity in Turkey, public fountains were erected by nearly every important personage, and in nearly every neighborhood, from at least the fifteenth century forward.  These architectural monuments soon became the favorite gathering places of the local populations (and European artists), and the site of constant activity and interesting encounters. 4 Though his personal politics are not known, Pasinis focus on female dress and outdoor dress in particular may also have been meant to address the freedoms and the strictures surrounding Turkish women at the time. 5 Revue du Ode Catholique, no. 50, Paris, 1877, p. 565. In London, the sentiments were the same: Un Faubourg de Constantinople (1651) gives the magnificent view by the side of the sea, and the long white line of sunlit wall, with the Sultanas fountain and its vast eaves, their purple shadow being the darkest feature of the picture, a crowd of men and women on foot and mounted, horses and vehicles, piles of fruit and vegetables, as rich in colour as great enamels might be, while in the mid-distance rise the snow-like mosque and its lofty minaret, and the whole is set, so to say, in the purest atmosphere, and illuminated by the sun without a cloud in the sky.  The prodigious brilliancy of this picture entitles it to the closest study.  Its lovely harmony of colour has no disturbing element, except that the green watermelons heaped on the ground seem too crude and marble-like, and this is a defect which the luxurious perfection of the painting, as a whole, enables us to feel, as the Sybarite felt the crumpled rose-leaf, (Athenaeum, no. 2588, June 2, 1877, p. 710).  See also The Academy of July 6, 1878, p. 21. 6 The Dolmabahçe Mosque, part of the Dolmabahçe Palace complex and located on the Bosporus, was begun in 1853 under Sultan Abdulmecid.  Pasinis personal connection to the site (see note 1 above) would make his inclusion of it in a painting particularly intriguing. Other mosques that bear some resemblance to Pasinis structure include Nusratiye and Cihangir. 7 By 1883, contemporary authors were commenting on Pasinis use of photography for his paintings (see Photography in Art, Studio 1.25, 1883, pp. 272-3). 8 Contracted to sell Pasinis Orientalist pictures, Goupil alone placed more than 500 into European and American private or gallery collections. Signed A. Pasini and dated 1877 (lower left)

  • USAUSA
  • 2018-05-22
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