Select works from the collection of Hester Diamond , a prominent New York art dealer, art collector, and interior designer who died in February at age 91, will be offered in a dedicated single-owner sale at Sotheby’s New York in January.
Highlighting the sale is a rare sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) and his father Pietro titled Autumn. Carved in 1616, the sculpture features an unbridled man of the woods reaching for a piece of fruit, which symbolizes abundance and rebirth.
With an estimate of between $8 million and $12 million, the sculpture is poised to establish a new auction record for the artist, who is considered the greatest sculptor and architect since Michelangelo . His current auction record was set in 2002 when his terracotta bozzetto or sketch, Il Moro , sold at Sotheby's London for US$3.2 million, the auction house said.
Other works on offer include Old Master paintings and sculpture, contemporary art, 20th-century furniture and design, gemstones, and more—a reflection of Diamond's vision as an innovative collector.
Diamond started collecting and trading modern art with her first husband, Harold Diamond , in the 1950s. After he died in 1982, she began to seriously collect Old Master paintings and sculpture, selling much of her modern collection, including works by Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse , at Sotheby’s in 2004.
“She’d held firm to the belief that one not only had to love what one was collecting, but this passion had to drive the collector to keep refining, changing, curating,” her son, Michael Diamond , rapper and founding member of the hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, who is better known as Mike D , said in a statement through Sotheby’s.
Leading the group of Old Master paintings are a pair of canvases by Dosso Dossi , The Sicilian Games and The Plague at Pergamea, estimated to sell for a combined $3 million to $5 million. A further highlight is a triptych of The Nativity, The Adoration of The Magi, The Presentation in The Temple by Pieter Coecke van Aelst , with an estimate of between $2.5 million and $3.5 million.
Highlighting the contemporary art pieces is Bill Viola 's Ablutions, which carries a presale estimate of between $70,000 and $100,000.
The dedicated auction will be held live at Sotheby’s New York galleries on Jan. 29. Previews will be by appointment only from Jan. 23-29.