In our Modern and contemporary Art auction on Wednesday 25 October, we are thrilled to offer twenty-two illustrative works by 20th century fashion and theatre designer Erté.
Browse the collection
Erté, a name synonymous with beauty, elegance, and innovation, stands as an icon in the world of 20th Century design, theatre, and fashion. Born Romain de Tirtoff in 1892 in St Petersburg, Russia, he moved to Paris in 1910 to pursue his dream of becoming an artist. His father, an Admiral in the Imperial fleet had wanted his only son to follow the family's naval tradition. In order to avoid the perceived shame to the family name he became known by his nickname, Erté, which was derived from the French pronunciation of his initials.
λ Lot 57: Erté, Design for Fashion Publication, Gouache | Est. £800-1,200 (+ fees)
Once in Paris he quickly found employment with the highly respected Parisian Couturier Paul Poiret and in 1915 Erté started supplying the fashion magazine Harper's Bazaar with illustrations and designs. This relationship would continue for the next twenty years and included an incredible 240 illustrated covers.
λ Lot 54: Erté, Harper's Bazaar - Evening Coat, Ink | Est. £1,000-1,500 (+ fees)
His work for Harper's Bazaar brought him international acclaim, and in 1925 he started working with many Hollywood producers, designing the sets and costumes. He is however most revered for his work with Parisian theatres, including the Folies Bergère, Bal Tabarin and Le Lido. Through his iconic fashion designs, illustrations, and theatrical costumes, Erté's legacy continues to inspire and captivate a century on, bringing timeless glamour and elegance to the present day.
(L to R): λ Lot 61: Erté, ‘La Femme Et Le Diable: Un Nain De L'espagnole’, Gouache And Silver Paint | Est. £800-1,200 (+ fees) | λ Lot 65: Erté, ‘Rhapsody In Blue: Girl Dancing With The Rabbit; The Dancer Boys’, Gouache | Est. £1,000-1,500 (+ fees)
Dreweatts’ are honoured to bring this exquisite private collection of works to auction. The collector has generously instructed the proceeds from this collection to be donated equally between three charities: Southbank Sinfonia, Grange Park Opera and Little Angel Theatre in Islington.
Founded in 2002 by Music Director Simon Over, Southbank Sinfonia provides graduate musicians from all over the world with a much-needed springboard into the profession. Each year, a fresh cohort embark on its renowned Fellowship, exploring music spanning every possible genre, taking their musicianship to new frontiers and striding forwards in stamina, outlook, and versatility.
More than just an orchestra, Southbank Sinfonia is a community in which young talents can find their own creative strengths, fulfil personal goals, and make lasting contacts as they set out in the profession.
To date, almost 600 musicians have completed the programme and can be found worldwide in leading orchestras and acclaimed chamber ensembles, as inspiring music educators, and pioneering their own entrepreneurial musical ventures. Many continue to play a valued role in the life of Southbank Sinfonia as its ever-growing alumni return as paid deputies and extras, enabling the orchestra to take on ambitious large-scale ventures, as well as to coach and inspire their successors.
Grange Park Opera
Founded in 1998 by Wasfi Kani CBE, Grange Park Opera has staged more than 80 operas, including the acclaimed productions of Rusalka, Tristan und Isolde, Peter Grimes, the Maid of Pskov and Fiddler on the Roof with Bryn Terfel at the BBC Proms.
In 2017 the company moved to West Horsley Place, Surrey, a 350-acre estate with a 14th century house surrounded by formal gardens with secret corners, aged fruit trees, box hedges and a majestic crinkle crankle wall.
The house was inherited in 2015 by author and broadcaster Bamber Gascoigne from his aunt Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe. In spring 2016, GPO trustees visited Bamber and Christina asking if an opera house might be built there. Christina’s face lit up; she turned to Bamber pronouncing ‘A rare and beautiful bird has just landed in our garden and would like to stay. Of course we must welcome it!’. They made their decision on the spot.
A five storey opera house, modelled on La Scala, was built in record time; artists who have appeared in the summer season include Joyce di Donato, Bryn Terfel, Simon Keenlyside, Joseph Calleja.
Grange Park Opera
Little Angel Theatre
Set in the heart of Islington, Little Angel Theatre has been producing ground breaking, innovative puppetry shows for children and families for over 60 years.
Little Angel uses puppetry to create and share inspiring stories, igniting the imaginations of the youngest minds, and supporting puppetry artists at all stages of their careers.
The theatre’s success has been built upon a spirit of artistic innovation, and, as a charity, we are committed to making our work accessible and affordable so that everyone can benefit from the experience of live theatre and have access to our imaginative education and participatory activities.
“The Little Angel Theatre is a jewel box of invention, imagination and artistry. A magical way to introduce children to the power of puppetry, storytelling and theatre.”
The Little Angel Theatre, Islington, London
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Modern and Contemporary Art
Wednesday 25 October, 10.30am BST
Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2JE
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- Tuesday 10 October: 10am – 4pm
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