The impressive art collection assembled by acclaimed actress of stage and screen, Lauren Bacall, who died in August 2014, is going on international tour prior to auction at Bonhams, New York on 31 March. The 700-piece art collection of the actress who died at the age of 89, will go up for auction at Bonhams this year after the tour is completed. The actress’s holdings of paintings, sculpture, jewellery – including tribal and twentieth century art – are estimated to be worth nearly £2 million.
The collection includes works by some of the greatest artists of the 20th century, will tour to Hong Kong, Paris, Los Angeles, and London. The auction of The Lauren Bacall Collection will then be held at Bonhams, New York at 580 Madison Avenue on March 31 and April 1, 2015.
Many of the 750 lots to be auctioned graced the Los Angeles residence which Bacall shared with her first husband, Humphrey Bogart; her former country home in Amagansett, New York; and the actress’s final residence in New York’s famed The Dakota, overlooking Central Park, which she shared with second husband, Jason Robards until 1969. Highlighting the preview are six bronze maquettes by Henry Moore, one of Bacall’s favourite artists.
Bacall’s deep admiration of Moore began in the 1950s while she was living in Los Angeles- she later said “It was and will be ever a high point of my life … [it was the] realization of a dream.” Also included in the touring exhibition are bronze sculptures by noted American artist Robert Graham, whose works fascinated Lauren Bacall. She was captivated by the precise realism and bold expression of the female form seen in Graham’s work and referred to three of the sculptures as her “girls”.
Some of the actress’s most loved jewellery pieces were created by legendary designer Jean Schlumberger. Other pieces going under the hammer include an 18-carat yellow gold, enamel, cultured pearl, and rose diamond Mogul-inspired camel brooch by British jeweller, Elizabeth Gage. This piece, while fascinating in its own right, is accompanied by the original drawing and correspondence from the jeweller, revealing a true collaboration and friendship between the jeweller and the client. There are also contemporary and modern prints by David Hockney, Jim Dine, Richard Avedon, Henry Moore and John James Audubon as well as paintings by the legendary Sir Noel Coward, Aaron Shikler, Georges Wakhevitch being featured.
Jon King, Bonhams’ Vice President and Director of Business Development comments “We at Bonhams are delighted to share with the public a rare insight into the world of Lauren Bacall, the accomplished collector. Her collection is a truly a reflection of her extraordinary taste and remarkable life.”
As the acclaimed actress worldwide appeal, it was considered only fitting that Bonhams conduct an international tour of selections from the collection. Among these highlights are bronze sculptures, jewellery, decorative arts, tribal works of art, prints, and paintings. The tour will take place from January 14 to 19 at the Bonhams Hong Kong gallery, located at 88 Queensway in Admiralty – and will then travel to Paris (January 29 to February 3), Grand Palais (February 4 to 6), London (February 16 to 19), and Los Angeles (February 27 to March 6). The preview of the entire collection can be viewed in New York from March 25 to 30 2015.