Abbott-Guggenheim Collection to auction for $11m at Christie's

The highly esteemed Abbott-Guggenheim Collection will be offered by Christie's as part of New York's Old Master Week in January 2015.

Guggenheim bronze
One of four created, this is the finest, with others housed in London's National Gallery and Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum

The collection was formed by Dr Peter Guggenheim (1927-2012) with Dr John Abbott (b.1927) over more than 60 years. Having featured in some of the world's most important museums, it is expected to sell for more than $11m.

"The extraordinary provenances of many pieces are equally as impressive as their makers, with links to the collections of J.P. Morgan, Robert von Hirsch, William Randolph Hearst, as well as Queen Marie and Prince Nicholas of Romania and the Berwinds," commented Christie's Will Russell, senior specialist in European sculpture and furniture.

The most valuable lot in the sale is a bronze figure of Hercules Pomarius created by Willem Danielsz van Tetrode in the 16th century. Considered the finest of four examples made, other versions exist in London's National Gallery and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, warranting a $1.5m-2.5m estimate.

Another bronze from Van Tetrode holds an identical estimate.

Also starring is a bronze oil lamp from 1570, which Christie's describes as a "courageous example of political and artistic expression of the Dutch anti-Papist sentiments."

Created at the outbreak of the Eighty Years War, the protestant Netherlands was facing invasion from the Catholic Spaniards under Philip II. The Spanish Inquisition's brutality in the conflict is well recorded.

The lamp shows a Catholic bishop with goat legs. It is expected to sell for between $200,000-300,000.

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