El Greco, The Entombment of Christ (1570s) Old Master Paintings, Part I, Christie’s, New York, 14 April
Est $4m-$6m (sold for $5.3m hammer, $6.1m with premium)
Traditionally held in January, Christie’s Old Master sales in New York now form part of the auction house’s first springtime Classic Art Week (12-14 April). Among the highlights is this diminutive depiction of the entombment of Christ by Domenikos Theotokopoulos, better known as El Greco (1541-1614), which has been consigned from a London collection. The oil on panel painting packs 18 figures into the modest proportions of a cabinet picture, 28cm by 19cm. “A thick veil of discoloured varnish mutes what is undoubtedly a rich, iridescent palette,” according to the catalogue notes. Sotheby’s New York sold a similar but slightly larger entombment scene by El Greco from the estate of Giancarlo Baroni for $902,500 (with premium) in 2013.
Eric Ravilious, The James and The Foremost Prince (1934) Modern British Art, Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers, Stansted Mountfitchet, 12 April
Est £40,000-£60,000 (sold for £85,000 hammer, £103,700 with premium)
In the 1930s the village of Great Bardfield in Essex, England, was home to a vibrant community of artists including Eric Ravilious, Kenneth Rowntree and Edward Bawden. Though less well known than their St Ives contemporaries, their contribution to 20th-century British art is now being reassessed. The local auctioneer Sworders, based less than 15 miles from the village, is holding its first dedicated Modern British auction with a focus on the artists of Great Bardfield. Ravilious painted this square watercolour of a nautical scene in August 1934, three years after he and Bawden had moved to Essex. It appeared in the Ravilious centenary exhibition Imagined Realities at the Imperial War Museum in London in 2003-04.
17th-century Turkish bokche, or wrapping cloth Andy Lloyd at the London Antique Rug and Textile Art Fair (Larta), London, 14-17 April
Larta is the UK’s only specialist fair for period rugs, carpets, tapestries and textiles, an often overlooked field that attracts both casual and serious collectors. With 12 exhibitors showing pieces from the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe, this bijou, souk-like event returns to the Showroom gallery in north-west London. The Bath-based dealer Andy Lloyd is bringing this 17th-century Turkish bokche, or wrapping cloth, which is profusely embroidered with silk on a cotton gauze ground. During the Ottoman Empire, bokches such as this were used to wrap gifts or household items. This example is particularly fine and was probably intended to cover high-value items.