Browse results

In: Foreign Currency Volatility and the Market for French Modernist Art

Abstract

In Chapter 2 (Anonymity and Flemish Painting), the issue of anonymity in Early Flemish art is discussed from an historical perspective (context of production, development of connoisseurship, development of technical art history). Four aspects of this output, which are directly linked to the problems of anonymity, provide the justification for devoting an entire study to it: i) the relative abundance of pictures that were geared towards the market; ii) the duality between concepts of identity and anonymity; iii) names subject to changing preferences; and iv) complex attributionism.

In: Anonymous Art at Auction
Author: Paola Cordera

Abstract

This paper explores the dispersal of the collection of decorative arts of the dealer and collector Frédéric Spitzer and its success among German collections and museums. It outlines a vivid depiction of the 19th century art collecting practices, offering clues to the role played by the dispersal of artworks and artefacts in shaping canons of taste and value together with museums’ authorities. Experts and collectors from all over Europe could not miss the opportunity to get their hands on some of Spitzer’s treasures being put on sale in 1893. The sale was soon heralded as the “Sale of the Century”. Making an acquisition from the Spitzer collection was regarded as invaluable investment. Although in 1893 a few critical voices arose out of the general acclaim much of the contemporary accounts were uncritical, building up the “myth” of the Spitzer collection as an unparalleled collection of decorative arts. All the German industrial museums planned to attend its sale with the goal of making their country a leader in the international world of museums. Events related to the Spitzer’s sale witness how German curators – including Justus Brinckmann of Hamburg, Wilhelm Bode and Julius Lessing of Berlin – were able and buy key artworks for their museums, applying a kind of combination of private and public funds. The role of private collectors in the sale is tough to fully understand given fluid borders between private and public interests. The fate of the Spitzer collection bears witness to shared international strategies and converging tastes beyond national boundaries.

In: Florence, Berlin and Beyond: Late Nineteenth-Century Art Markets and their Social Networks
Author: Paola Cordera

Abstract

This paper explores the dispersal of the collection of decorative arts of the dealer and collector Frédéric Spitzer and its success among German collections and museums. It outlines a vivid depiction of the 19th century art collecting practices, offering clues to the role played by the dispersal of artworks and artefacts in shaping canons of taste and value together with museums’ authorities. Experts and collectors from all over Europe could not miss the opportunity to get their hands on some of Spitzer’s treasures being put on sale in 1893. The sale was soon heralded as the “Sale of the Century”. Making an acquisition from the Spitzer collection was regarded as invaluable investment. Although in 1893 a few critical voices arose out of the general acclaim much of the contemporary accounts were uncritical, building up the “myth” of the Spitzer collection as an unparalleled collection of decorative arts. All the German industrial museums planned to attend its sale with the goal of making their country a leader in the international world of museums. Events related to the Spitzer’s sale witness how German curators – including Justus Brinckmann of Hamburg, Wilhelm Bode and Julius Lessing of Berlin – were able and buy key artworks for their museums, applying a kind of combination of private and public funds. The role of private collectors in the sale is tough to fully understand given fluid borders between private and public interests. The fate of the Spitzer collection bears witness to shared international strategies and converging tastes beyond national boundaries.

In: Florence, Berlin and Beyond: Late Nineteenth-Century Art Markets and their Social Networks
Author: Lynn Catterson

Abstract

The 1860’s saw the first successes of Stefano Bardini’s dealing career as well as the proliferation of professional academic expertise and its concomitant expression in serial publications. Thus it was more than fortuitous that one of his first clients was Wilhelm von Bode. From the early 1870s, Bardini maintained an active and energetic relationship with Bode, first, because Bode had an ambitious collecting agenda on behalf of the German museums, as well as on behalf of several wealthy collectors. Bode’s influence was incisive, and his legacy endures today because Bode also maintained a prolific scholarly publication record which laid the foundations for what still is the practice of connoisseurship of Italian Renaissance sculpture. In addition, Bode’s numerous publications promoted his professional expertise, which in the late 19C art market was an ever increasingly valuable commodity in Europe and abroad. And every bit as much, it promoted all of the Bardini objects which heavily populated the writings of Bode. With mind-numbing circuitousness, Bardini would then go on to cite the published authority of Bode, while at the same time, provide comparisons to other versions of objects – extant siblings, as it were – that Bardini had also put into circulation. On the basis of archival material, and the example of the so-called Pazzi Madonna, this paper reconstructs, in part, the microhistory of its transaction and the concomitant issues of branding, marketing, provenance, attribution and authenticity.

In: Florence, Berlin and Beyond: Late Nineteenth-Century Art Markets and their Social Networks
Author: Lynn Catterson

Abstract

The 1860’s saw the first successes of Stefano Bardini’s dealing career as well as the proliferation of professional academic expertise and its concomitant expression in serial publications. Thus it was more than fortuitous that one of his first clients was Wilhelm von Bode. From the early 1870s, Bardini maintained an active and energetic relationship with Bode, first, because Bode had an ambitious collecting agenda on behalf of the German museums, as well as on behalf of several wealthy collectors. Bode’s influence was incisive, and his legacy endures today because Bode also maintained a prolific scholarly publication record which laid the foundations for what still is the practice of connoisseurship of Italian Renaissance sculpture. In addition, Bode’s numerous publications promoted his professional expertise, which in the late 19C art market was an ever increasingly valuable commodity in Europe and abroad. And every bit as much, it promoted all of the Bardini objects which heavily populated the writings of Bode. With mind-numbing circuitousness, Bardini would then go on to cite the published authority of Bode, while at the same time, provide comparisons to other versions of objects – extant siblings, as it were – that Bardini had also put into circulation. On the basis of archival material, and the example of the so-called Pazzi Madonna, this paper reconstructs, in part, the microhistory of its transaction and the concomitant issues of branding, marketing, provenance, attribution and authenticity.

In: Florence, Berlin and Beyond: Late Nineteenth-Century Art Markets and their Social Networks
Author: Denise M. Budd

Abstract

According to the scant literature on the subject, the sale of the famed Barberini Tapestries was brokered over tea cups. In 1889, the retired wool merchant and amateur tapestry enthusiast Charles Mather Ffoulke (1841–1909), eager to purchase two sets of tapestries to decorate his Washington, D.C. home, met with the Princess Barberini. Finding the Princess unwilling to divide the family’s historic collection, Ffoulke was instead compelled to purchase all 135 pieces, and thus – quite by accident – he became one of the most important early dealers, collectors and eventual scholars of tapestries in America. This anecdote is reported in Ffoulke’s own retelling of the event; archival evidence, however, suggests that his acquisition of the tapestries was far from accidental and appears instead to have been the result of a planned, collaborative effort between Ffoulke, the Florentine tapestry restorer and dealer Giuseppe Salvadori and the renowned antiquities dealer Stefano Bardini, with whom Salvadori had been closely associated for many years. Though Ffoulke was represented in his biographies and in the contemporary press as a lone agent, his Massachusetts Avenue gallery instead functioned as the American outpost of a trans-Atlantic enterprise, the function of which was to procure, restore, and sell Renaissance and Baroque furnishings to the new American aristocracy of the Gilded Age. Although the precise details of this relationship are never made explicit, enough evidence survives to reconstruct the circumstances behind the Barberini Tapestry sale and the operations of the Ffoulke-Salvadori-Bardini network.

In: Florence, Berlin and Beyond: Late Nineteenth-Century Art Markets and their Social Networks
Author: Denise M. Budd

Abstract

According to the scant literature on the subject, the sale of the famed Barberini Tapestries was brokered over tea cups. In 1889, the retired wool merchant and amateur tapestry enthusiast Charles Mather Ffoulke (1841–1909), eager to purchase two sets of tapestries to decorate his Washington, D.C. home, met with the Princess Barberini. Finding the Princess unwilling to divide the family’s historic collection, Ffoulke was instead compelled to purchase all 135 pieces, and thus – quite by accident – he became one of the most important early dealers, collectors and eventual scholars of tapestries in America. This anecdote is reported in Ffoulke’s own retelling of the event; archival evidence, however, suggests that his acquisition of the tapestries was far from accidental and appears instead to have been the result of a planned, collaborative effort between Ffoulke, the Florentine tapestry restorer and dealer Giuseppe Salvadori and the renowned antiquities dealer Stefano Bardini, with whom Salvadori had been closely associated for many years. Though Ffoulke was represented in his biographies and in the contemporary press as a lone agent, his Massachusetts Avenue gallery instead functioned as the American outpost of a trans-Atlantic enterprise, the function of which was to procure, restore, and sell Renaissance and Baroque furnishings to the new American aristocracy of the Gilded Age. Although the precise details of this relationship are never made explicit, enough evidence survives to reconstruct the circumstances behind the Barberini Tapestry sale and the operations of the Ffoulke-Salvadori-Bardini network.

In: Florence, Berlin and Beyond: Late Nineteenth-Century Art Markets and their Social Networks