Lost Alberto Giacometti Drawings Auctioned To Benefit The Art Fund




Two original drawings by the artist, Alberto Giacometti have been discovered in the inventory of a deceased English antique dealer. They are to go under the hammer at Cheffins in Cambridge, UK, with proceeds from the sale given to The Art Fund. The drawings were discovered amongst the collection of the late London based dealer, Eila Grahame.

We eventually found them buried under piles of dust-covered antiques – Martin Millard, Director, Cheffins

Martin Millard, Director, Cheffins comments: “We became aware of the drawings’ possible existence during a preliminary inspection of Eila Grahame’s effects but they were presumed long since sold or lost. We eventually found them buried under piles of dust-covered antiques, paintings, and drawings. These drawings have never before been seen by the public and we are expecting them to be of interest to museums and galleries around the world as well as individual collectors.

One tends to get a ‘gut feeling’ about these things, and we quickly became convinced that the works were genuine, but were clearly delighted when the Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti were able to confirm their authenticity and include them in the catalogue raisonné. Eila Grahame was a true icon in the antique collecting world and we knew that anything from her collection was likely to hold some significant value, however, nothing could have prepared us for undiscovered works from one of the world’s most important and relevant artists.”

The drawings are pencil sketches on a double sided sheet of paper and are signed ‘Alberto Giacometti 1947.’ They are titled Têtes (recto); Nu debout (verso) and are studies of various heads and a nude woman standing in a room in Giacometti’s signature style. The images have been authenticated by the Comite Giacometti in Paris and is registered in the Alberto Giacometti database under AGD 3759.

Eila Grahame was a renowned antiques collector, whose shop on Kensington Church Street was a magnet for curators. Cheffins sold the rest of the Eila Grahame collection in December 2016 which made over £577,000 in total. Amongst key items in the collection were a previously unseen Picasso sketch and a number of pencil drawings and watercolours by Frans Anton von Scheidel.

Martin Millard, Director, Cheffins continues, “The discovery of this important work is particularly timely at the moment considering the imminent release of The Final Portrait film about Giacometti starring Geoffrey Rush and the current Tate Modern retrospective of his work. Our October sale is one of the most comprehensive offerings we have assembled at Cheffins and we are honoured to be selling this important item with exceptional provenance.”

The drawings have an estimate of £40,000 – £60,000.

Auction: The Residue of Vision – Art & Design from 1860 – Thursday 12th October from 11:00 GMT

Viewing Times: Tuesday 9th October 10:00 – 17:00 | Tuesday 10th October 10:00 – 17:00 | Wednesday 11th October 10:00 – 18:00

Location: Cheffins, Clifton House, 1-2 Clifton Road, Cambridge, UK, CB1 7EA


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