On Thursday 9 March our sister company, Forum Auctions, has its auction Flair: Fashion, Photography and Design. The auction offers books, collected over a period of 50 years, from the impressive library of Håkan Rosenius, former Artistic Director of Paul Smith & creative force at Missoni, Joseph, Browns and Asprey.
Håkan Rosenius grew up in his native Stockholm before spending the majority of his career based in London working in the fashion and creative industry. Rosenius started his career as a merchandiser and buyer for both Browns and Joseph, before going on to help establish Crolla on Dover Street and creating men’s collections for Missoni. He then joined Paul Smith spending over 20 years at the brand, mainly in the role of Creative Director, some of which was spent living in New York City. His next chapter was as the Artistic Director of Asprey taking charge of all aspects of the brand, including the creation of their high-luxe ready to wear collections for both women and men. His recent endeavours include creating advertising campaigns for eyewear brand Barton Perreira.
Lot 251: Ɵ Early inspiration, Håkan's passion was ignited upon visiting the Warhol collection in Sweden during 1968. Warhol (Andy) & others. Andy Warhol, first edition, original floral wrappers, Stockholm, Moderna Museet, 1968 & Reigning Queens catalogue, 1985 | Est. £300-400 (+ fees)
"Book collecting is an addiction – I know because I have the bug!"
- Paul Smith
Describing the collection, Paul Smith writes, “This is a diverse collection of books. All of them very special in their own right and to tell the truth all my favourites! I especially love Alexey Brodovitch who is one of my all-time heroes. He had such an amazing style. His book Ballet [Lot 55] is a perfect example of this. Richard Avedon’s work is strong, powerful, new, innovate especially in Nothing Personal [Lot 38] and Observations [Lot 37] both of which have no photography on the cover just powerful graphics. Book collecting is an addiction – I know because I have the bug! And, if you start with say photography, you can find so many other subjects which crossover each other and so it’s easy to get carried away. Art, Photography, Design, Interiors & Fashion are just some of the subjects in this superb collection.”
Lot 55: Ɵ Brodovitch (Alexey).- Denby (Edwin) Ballet: 104 Photographs by Alexey Brodovitch, first edition, with prospectus, New York, 1945 | Est. £2,000-3,000 (+ fees)
An impressive highlight is Lot 9, a superb set of the extraordinary and original fashion magazine, Visionaire, with all the variant issues. Many of the early numbers sold out very quickly and the variants were sent out to retailers around the world so it was very difficult to assemble a complete set. In this case Håkan was permitted to select the variants from the publishers themselves. This lot offers Nos. 1-64 of Visionaire.
(No.58 Spirit - Alexander McQueen, one of 1500 copies, loose as issued in original wrappers, together with hologram sheet of Kate Moss on a swing in original cream silk drop-back box, upper cover padded and with metal embroidery, with plastic box and lid, 2010.
No.18 Fashion, one of 2500 copies, loose as issued in original Louis Vuitton-monogrammed wallet fastened with lace and two wooden buttons, 1996.
No.63 Forever, one of 1500 copies, 10 etched metal sheets, sliding into original metal drop-front box with window to upper cover, 2013.
No.30 The Game, 7 variant copies for USA, Australia, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, France, Japan (the countries competing in the Louis Vuitton Challenge sailing races to qualify for the America's Cup), each one of 6000 copies (across all 7 sets), with 16 pictorial cubes forming 6 different images, loose as issued in original card box (variants depicting the individual flags of each country) with Louis Vuitton-monogrammed Perspex box fastened with leather tie and spherical compass, 1999.
No.1, one of 1000 copies, loose as issued in original pictorial wrappers, slightly creased and with short tear to lower edge of upper cover, spine a little worn and split, Spring 1991)
Lot 9: Ɵ Gan (Stephen) & others, editors. Visionaire, Nos.1-64 (of 67) in 78 including all variant issues | Est. £15,000-20,000 (+ fees)
Lot 7 is a deluxe copy of a sale catalogue from Christie's illustrious 1997 auction of designer dresses belonging to Diana, Princess of Wales. The auction took place in New York and raised a hammer total of $3,258,750 for AIDS and cancer charities. The top price was $222,500 for the long ink blue velvet dinner dress by Victor Edelstein for a state dinner at the White House given by President and Mrs Reagan, at which she danced with John Travolta.
The catalogue, numbered 158 of 250, is one of the deluxe copies signed by Diana, and includes photographic illustrations, many colour, with price list, invitation to private view, ticket to auction and other ephemera loosely inserted, original purple morocco, with original protective casing.
Lot 7: Ɵ Diana, Princess of Wales Dresses from the Collection..., one of 250 deluxe copies signed by Diana, New York, Christie's, 1997 | Est £3,000-4,000 (+ fees)
“This library has been a passion project that has evolved over my lifetime and when someone purchases something, they will be attaining a very personal memory, not just of mine but in history, as many pay homage to a designer or photographer or artist at a specific time. They will also be obtaining the very finest version of the work, as I have always purchased the very best quality possible.” - Håkan Rosenius
The auction includes nine lots with works from American photographer Bruce Weber. The selection includes Lot 192, a very rare first edition of photographic illustrations by Weber in memory of his golden retriever Rowdy, believed to be one of only approximately 50 copies for presentation to friends. Other works by Weber include Lot 195, which demonstrates Weber's long and established career as a fashion photographer, a collection of 25 issues of Abercrombie & Fitch's quarterly catalogues with many of the photographic illustrations by Bruce Weber.
Lot 192: Ɵ Weber (Bruce) Rowdy, first edition, [one of ?c.50 copies], n.p., 1992 | Est. £1,200 - 1,800 (+ fees)
Other lots offered in Håkan’s extensive library include Lot 133, a signed limited edition of Sumo by Helmut Newton and edited by June Newton, 1999. It is sold with a metal book stand designed by Philippe Starck. Also included is Lot 59, a first American edition of The Decisive Moment, by Henri Cartier-Bresson consisting of photographic illustrations in a binding designed by Henri Matisse, 1952. Also featured is Lot 256, Andy Warhol’s Interview, an 8 volume limited edition edited by Sandra J.Brant & Ingrid Sischy. The volumes are contained in the original yellow wooden box, styled as a wheeled suitcase, designed by Karl Lagerfeld in 2004.
L-R: Lot 133: Ɵ Newton (Helmut) Sumo, Lot 59: Cartier-Bresson (Henri) The Decisive Moment, Lot 256: Warhol (Andy), Andy Warhol's Interview.
“We are delighted to offer a collection that has been compiled with such attention to condition, quality and rarity. This collection is a smorgasbord of signed works and limited editions. The sale is a thrilling treasure trove for anyone interested in the areas of Fashion, Photography and Design.” - Dido Arthur, Book Specialist at Forum Auctions
Thursday 9 March | 12.00pm GMT
Forum Auctions, 4 Ingate Place, London SW8 3NS
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