This magnificent diamond tiara by Faberge, circa 1890 has a wonderful royal pedigree. First owned by Queen Maria Jose, she referred to it as ‘The Empress Josephine Tiara’ as the briolette-cut diamonds were given to Josephine by Alexander I of Russia. After the First World War it was bought by the King of Belgium from the Duke of Leuchtenberg. It was made by one of Faberge’s greatest workmasters August Holmstrom. Faberge tiaras of this importance are exceedingly rare. This one appeared in our London auction in June 2007 creating huge excitement. It was estimated at £400,000-600,000 and finally sold for for £1,050,000 ($2m). @christiesinc#christiesjewels#christiesinc#christies#diamond#tiara#faberge#royaljewels#throwback
It may be a painting of a break up. David Hockney loved to paint pools. In 1964 he moved to L.A. where pools were much more common than in London. In an interview Hockney said: “I always loved swimming pools, all the wiggly lines they make. If you photograph them, it freezes them whereas if you use paint, you can have wiggly lines that wiggle.” His pictures were filled with sunny terraces, bright blue pools and young men most often in bathing suits. In most cases they look relaxed and carefree. Peter Schlesinger was his longtime lover and muse, and so he appears on quite a few of these paintings. In this case, he is the man standing next to the pool, looking down on the swimmer. He is uncharacteristically overdressed and looks a bit detached because he doesn’t seem to interact with the swimmer. Hockney finished the painting in 1972 (he had apparently been struggling with the composition for a long time), almost a year after he and Schlesinger broke up. These very personal details became very public through the documentary “A bigger Splash” that was about the intimate personal life of Hockney (and therefore also of Schlesinger). This painting has recently been sold at Christies and broke the record of ‘most expensive painting by a living artist’. Portrait of an Artist (pool with two figures), David Hockney, 1972, private collection.