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London for Sale: Eros, a Routemaster and Some Stunning Rare Images

09-August-2012
09-August-2012 0:00
in Art & Architecture
by Peter Berthoud

Christie's London Sale brings together an amazing range of objects that will be of great interest to any London enthusiast.

On September 3rd 167 incredible London items will go under the hammer at Christie's. Until then you can see them all for free in South Kensington.

The sale encompasses an eclectic range of London associations from rock music to the Olympics, politics to transport; there are historic and modern paintings, prints, photography, maps, sculpture, furniture and even some famous clothing.

Prior to the sale the whole marvellous collection is on show at a free exhibition at Christie's saleroom in Old Brompton Road.

These are some of the lots that, lottery wins permitting, will soon be gracing my flat.

A FULL-SCALE ALUMINIUM REPLICA OF 'EROS' CAST BY THE MORRIS SINGER FOUNDRY FROM THE MODEL BY SIR ALFRED GILBERT MVO RA (1854-1934)

A full-scale aluminium replica of 'Eros' cast by the Morris Singer Foundry from the model by Sir Alfred Gilbert MVO RA (1854-1934)

This full scale replica of Eros, cast from Gilbert's original model is estimated to fetch £150,000-£250,000. It is far easier to appreciate the magnificent detail in a quiet gallery than it is in Piccadilly Circus.

Note to pedants, yes, I know but everybody calls it Eros, not Anteros,  not the Angel of Christian Charity and not even The Shaftesbury Memorial.

The Pagoda Bridge at Hampton Court by Joseph Paul (1804-1887)
The Pagoda Bridge at Hampton Court by Joseph Paul (1804-1887)

This is the best view of the Pagoda Bridge at Hampton Court that I have ever seen. The bridge was demolished in 1778 so this painting must have been based on earlier studies but that does not diminish its beauty. Estimate £2,000-£3,000.

A proposal for a Thames tunnel, circa 1876 by A. M. Brown, after a design by J Standfield M.I.C.E., 19th Century
A proposal for a Thames tunnel, circa 1876 by A. M. Brown, after a design by J Standfield M.I.C.E., 19th Century

I always enjoy looking at images of London plans and buildings that were never actually built. This is one of 50 plans that were submitted for a new crossing of the Thames in 1876. The winning design was Tower Bridge. I hadn't seen Standfield's design in colour before, it is set to fetch £2,000-£4,000.

Southwark Bridge from Blackfriars by John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836-1893)
Southwark Bridge from Blackfriars by John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836-1893)

John Atkinson Grimshaw's Southwark Bridge from Blackfriars 1882 is one of the highlights of the exhibition for me. There is another  Grimshaw, just as beautiful, in the show too. Estimate: £150,000-£200,000

 Terminal 2, Heathrow by David Shepherd (b. 1930)
Terminal 2, Heathrow by David Shepherd (b. 1930)

Has Heathrow ever looked so romantic? David Shepherd's painting of Terminal 2 is expected to realise £3,000-£5,000.

A Prospect of the City of London Westminster and St James's Park. After Johannes KipA Prospect of the City of London Westminster and St James's Park. After Johannes Kip.

This magnificent Prospect of the City of London Westminster and St James's Park after Kip, is a hand-coloured reproduction, on twelve sheets joined published by the London Topographical Society, London, 1903. It is over six feet wide and could be yours for £1,000-£1,500

The Thames Tunnel by a member of the circle of William Tombleson, 19th centuryThe Thames Tunnel by a member of the circle of William Tombleson, 19th Century

This unique image of the Thames Tunnel would surely be a fine addition to the Brunel Museum's collection.  £700-£1,000  is the estimate.

 The Passing Show; Victoria Coach Station by Edith Mary Garner (b. 1881)
The Passing Show; Victoria Coach Station by Edith Mary Garner (b. 1881)

This unusual view of Victoria Coach Station by Edith Mary Garner is one of four in a series "The Passing Show". The other three watercolours in the set are, St. Martin in the Fields,Shell Mex House and the Dorchester Hotel. The estimate for all four is just £1,500-£2,000.

Bridget Fossey by Norman Parkinson (1913 - 1990)
Bridget Fossey by Norman Parkinson (1913 - 1990)

This image of French actress Bridget Fossey at St James's Palace is the only print in the Norman Parkinson archive. Christie's believe it to be unique. Estimate: 5,000-£6,000

There are a lot more photos in the exhibition, including superb images of The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. There is also a selection of London Transport posters, street signs and other transport memorabilia. They are even selling a Routemaster bus, though this isn't on display inside the gallery. If you really, really, want to you can even make a bid for some of Mrs Thatcher's old clothes!

There is a lot to see in this exhibition, I'll certainly be visiting again and more than once if I get the chance. If you can't make it, there is a printed catalogue detailing ever object on sale available for £20 and there is a free online pdf of this catalogue too.
The exhibition is open everyday until September 2nd. 

Christie's London Sale is on 3rd September 2012.
Christie's Saleroom?
85 Old Brompton Road
London

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