LONDON - Christie’s announces the sale of Property from the Anton Philips Collection, which will be offered through a series of international auctions during 2007 and which is expected to realise in the region of £10 million / $20 million / €14 million. Dr. Anton Philips, one of the most prominent entrepreneurs of the 20th century and the co-founder of Royal Philips Electronics, assembled a collection of Old Master pictures, 19th and 20th century art, furniture and decorative arts, a selection of which will be offered at sales in London, New York and Amsterdam. The collection is highlighted by Two studies of a young man, an oil study by Sir Peter Paul Rubens (estimate: £4,000,000-6,000,000).
Important Old Master Pictures from the Collection of Anton Philips - Anton Philip’s foremost passion was Old Master paintings and he owned a considerable private collection, an impressive selection of which will be offered at Christie’s evening auction of Important Old Master and British Pictures on 6 December 2007 in London. A comprehensive representation of predominantly 17th century Dutch and Flemish paintings, 17 pictures will be offered with a collective estimate in excess of £8 million.
The highlight is Sir Peter Paul Rubens’ (1577-1640) Two studies of a young man which was painted between 1615 and 1617 and is expected to realise £4 to 6 million illustrated above. The panel (46.5 x 65.5 cm.) is a study for Melchior in The Adoration of the Magi at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon and shows a Levantine head, pictured en face and en profil respectively. The sitter is unkown but judging by his tanned skin, plain shirt and leather hat, it is thought that he could have been a contract labourer building the extension of the artist’s house in the Wappen, Antwerp.
The present picture was rediscovered in 1934 when Mr Douglas Lewis of Merton Park, near Wimbledon, brought it to Christie’s having acquired the work in a box of paintings at a local West Country auction. The picture was recognised as a Rubens and was offered at Christie’s on 23 November 1934 where it sold for £1,560. It was acquired soon afterwards by Anton Philips who displayed it as a central work of his private collection at his house Villa de Laak. The picture left this sanctuary on very few occasions, and was exhibited at The Museés Royaux des Beaux Arts in 1937 and the landmark Rubens oil sketch exhibition at The Museum Boymans van Beuningen in Rotterdam in 1953.
Further highlights of the collection include A landscape with cattle grazing on a bank, Dordrecht beyond, an atmospheric lanscape by Aelbert Cuyp (1620-1691) which is expected to realise £1,000,000-1,500,000; A river landscape with cattle watering and sailing boats beyond by Salomon van Ruysdael (1600-1670) which carries an estimate of £800,000-£1,200,000 illustrated left and A village street with a hurdy-gurdy player and a violinist playing outside a tavern by Adriaen Jansz. Van Ostade (estimate: £700,000-1,000,000).
Anton Philips, Entrepreneur & Connoisseur - 6 November, Amsterdam - Anton Philips assembled a comprehensive collection of decorative arts, from which 350 lots will be offered at a single-owner sale at Christie’s Amsterdam on 6 November 2007. Highlights include an 18th century commode of satin and tulipwood which is expected to realise €6,000–8,000; a selection of Egyptian antiquities including a stone head of an important official, circa 2000 BC (estimate: €1,500–2,500); a selection of gold snuff boxes (individual estimates from €300 to €3,000) and a Dutch mortar from 1532 (estimate: €6,000–8,000). A selection of silver will also be offered including an early 18th century tea caddy (estimate: €15,000–20,000) and a three-piece milk set circa 1920 by Danish designer Georg Jensen (1866-1935) (estimate: €1,500–2,000). A 13th century enamelled Limoges bible cover with crucifixion scene will be offered with an estimate of €100,000-150,000 and a late 14th century ivory group of Mary with the child, probably German and similar to a group in the Louvre, is expected to realise €40,000–60,000 illustrated right..
Further highlights - Anton Philips’ collected works by a number of 19th and 20th century artists including Jozef Israels, Jacob Maris, Vincent van Gogh and Kees van Dongen. The highlight of the Amsterdam sales is View on the Keizersgracht and Reguliersgracht by George Hendrik Breitner (1857-1923) illustrated left. With its bold diagonal lines and two slim trees curving into the perspective, the Dutch impressionist provides a very vivid depiction of two classic canals in Amsterdam. The canvas shows the strong link between the Amsterdam Impressionists and their French colleagues with its cosmopolitan feel and natural sophistication. The picture is expected to realise a record price for the artist and carries an estimate of €600,000-800,000; the current world auction record was established when ‘Le peintre du Peuple’ sold for €776,420 at Christie’s Amsterdam in 2003.
On November 7 at Christie’s New York, Kees van Dongen’s (1877-1968) Portrait of a woman with long hair will be offered at the auction of Impressionist and Modern Art with an estimate of $500,000-700,000 illustrated right. Van Dongen was one of the most sought after portraitists of his time, full heartedly enjoying ‘les années follies’ in Paris during the 1920s. Spending much of his time at cabarets and in bars and restaurants, van Dongen would specialise in depicting young and beautiful women and the present picture is a striking example of his work.
Dr. Anton Philips (1874-1951) - Dr. Anton Philips (1874-1951) ranks amongst the foremost entrepreneurs of the 20th century. Having trained as a banker in Amsterdam and London, at the age of twenty he joined the small light-bulb producing company founded in Eindhoven in 1891 by his brother Gerard and his father Frederik. Anton took responsibility for the commercial side of the enterprise and built a solid web of industrial customers in Germany and Belgium, expanding to the Americas, Russia, South Africa, Australia and the Far East during the early 20th century. By 1933, the Philips company had become the worlds’ largest producer of radios and, in the years that followed, it provided tens of millions of private consumers with television, as well as home grown inventions including the Philishave, the halogen light, the compact cassette and the compact disk. The growth of the company saw the population of Eindhoven expanding from 45,000 to 100,000 people between 1920 and 1930. Anton Philips was as devoted a benefactor as he was a businessman and he provided for housing, developing areas still know as the ‘Philips districts’, as well as building a school, a city park and the Philips Sport Vereniging whose football team, PSV Eindhoven, won the European Cup in 1988. In 1951, Anton passed away at the age of 77 and over 80,000 people paid tribute to the tycoon as his funeral procession passed through the town.
Anton Philips made an early entry to the art market: in his twenties, he already owned works by Breitner, Van Gogh and Willem Maris. He rapidly became known as a regular at auctions, galleries and museums around the world, and would compare his own judgements against those of eminent specialists such as Mauritshuis director Professor Martin and prominent dealer Jacques Goudstikker. By the 1930s, Anton Philips had assembled one of the most important private collections in the Netherlands. He loaned paintings to state exhibitions in London and Paris, donated a Frans Hals to the Frans Hals museum in Haarlem and wrote out a check for 25.000 guilders to the Rembrandt Association. In 1939, with the Second World War looming, Anton sent sixty numbered containers filled with paintings to the depot of the Dutch Trade Agency in The Hague. A second shipment, containing various works of decorative arts, was stored in the Amsterdam museum of Asian Art.