To Benefit Sir John Soane’s Museum in London,
Special-Edition of Piranesi Drawings, Now Available on iGavel
Says Lark Mason, president and founder of iGavel: “There is no other museum in the world like the idiosyncratic one Sir John Soane created in the early 19th century. He took infinite pride in having acquired the Piranesi drawings of Paestum. I want to thank Jonathan Burden for selecting iGavel to auction the 15 exact reproductions of the drawings, and I take pleasure in the fact that their sale will benefit Sir John Soane’s Museum.”
“The Paestum drawings by Piranesi formed a key element of Soane’s famed Picture Room, and they also reflect the important influence that Piranesi had on Soane as a collector and as an architect,” says Abraham Thomas, the director of the Soane. “This auction is a wonderful opportunity to acquire Piranesi’s exquisite drawings and bring a bit of Soane’s signature into the home at accessible prices.”
As an official licensee of Sir John Soane’s Museum, Jonathan Burden has the exclusive privilege to manufacture the Model Room Stands, which are part of the Jonathan Burden “Inspired by Soane” line. Says proprietor Jonathan Burden, “When we heard about the exhibition of the Soane’s Piranesi prints at the Morgan Library, we approached the Soane to see if we could do something in conjunction with it. That’s when this unique set of drawings was offered to us to sell, and we hope a designer or collector will seize this rare opportunity to acquire this outstanding collection of Piranesi drawings and at the same time help the Soane.” According to Burden, the drawings’ estimates range from $1,000 to $8,000, depending upon the lot.
Background on Original Set of Piranesi Drawings
When the Picture Room was rehung to Soane’s original arrangement in 2012, it became apparent that the majority of Piranesi’s Paestum drawings and the three drawings by Francesco Galli Bibiena were hung too high and close to the skylights, which exposed them to the possible effects of light damage. Therefore, it was decided to replace them with facsimiles on fine art paper made by the well-known German firm Hahnemühle. One set was produced to hang on permanent display at the museum. The other set is being sold through this special auction. The production of the special set being auctioned was made possible by the generous contribution of Niall Hobhouse, a former trustee of the museum.
Among the most significant examples of European graphic art, the 15 drawings of Paestum were part of Piranesi’s last great visual project, Différentes vues de Pesto, published in 1778. The drawings show views of the three outstanding Doric temples in the former Greek colony of Paestum in Italy, dramatically perched on a plateau not far from the coast of the Gulf of Salerno. Piranesi visited the site in 1777 and produced the 15 drawings. Extremely accomplished examples of his topographical observation, these powerful drawings revolutionized the understanding of early Greek Classical architecture. The original drawings are now on view at New York’s Morgan Library through May 17 in the exhibition Piraniesi and the Temples of Paestum: Drawings from Sir John Soane’s Museum.
About Jonathan Burden Antiques & Works of Art
Located in a historic TriBeCa warehouse, Jonathan Burden LLC, Antiques and Works of Art showcases antique furniture and rare artworks that have been sourced locally and abroad by British owner and conservator Jonathan Burden, who trained at the prestigious West Dean College, Sussex. Full-service restoration is also available onsite in the firm’s renowned workshop. Jonathan Burden is also home to “Burden Contemporary,” a collection of custom-made furniture created in collaboration with local artisans, blacksmiths, ceramists, glassblowers and cabinetmakers.
About the Sir John Soane’s Museum
Recently ranked No. 4 on The Times of London list of the 50 Best Museums in the World, Sir John Soaneis perhaps the greatest English Neoclassical architect. Soane was a visionary who used his home as a laboratory for his ideas, and as the repository for his varied collections of some 54,000 objects, including some 30,000 drawings, old master paintings including Canalettos, Hogarths and Turners, architectural models, Greek and Roman sculpture and Egyptian Antiquities, and 8,000 rare books. Soane’s house and its contents survive today, almost exactly as they were in his lifetime.
In America, the Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation was created in 1991 with the goal of educating the public through programs, lectures and travels focused on architecture and the fine and decorative arts. The Foundation also works to support Sir John Soane’s Museum through a newly funded conservation centre, and further awards graduate level traveling fellowships in architecture and history for the purpose of conducting research.
About iGavel Auctions
When Lark Mason founded iGavel Inc., the online international network of independently owned regional auction salesrooms, specializing in the sale of fine and decorative arts, in 2003, his stellar reputation as a leading expert, appraiser and television personality on the PBS series The Antiques Roadshow, was already well-established within the art world.
With iGavel’s large network of auction houses and dealers, there is an abundant selection of items daily flowing onto the iGavel site from companies including: Abington Auctions in Fort Lauderdale, FL; Case Antiques Auctions in Knoxville, TN; Daniel Cooney Fine Art in New York City; Elder’s Fine Art & Antiques in Nokomis, FL.; Everard and Company in Savannah, GA.; KC Auction Company in Kansas City, MO; Litchfield County Auctions in Litchfield, CT.; Lark Mason Associates in New York City; Nye and Company in Bloomfield, NJ; Quinn’s Auction Gallery in Falls Church, VA; South Bay Auctions in East Moriches, NY; and Witherell’s in Sacramento, CA.
iGavel Auctions is located at 887 Cross Street in New Braunfels, Texas and 229 East 120th Street (between Second and Third Avenues), New York City. Visit www.igavelauctions.com, or phone 212-289-5524.
For more information visit: www.igavelauctions.com.
Photo Caption: A Set of 4 Drawings from the Temples of Paestum series by Giovanni Battista Piranesi
21 1/2 x 29 1/4 in. (47.5 x 69 cm)
Photographed by the National Gallery, London and produced by German firm Hahnemüle.
Estimate: $6,000- $8,000