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An Art Dealer's Photographs: The Collection of Elia Volpi

Auctions

In 1910 Volpi organized his first auction with the auction house Jandolo & Tavazzi. Four years later there was another at which mainly wrought iron objects from the Renaissance were put up for sale. Volpi had considerable commercial success, although well below the level of success he would achieve at the auction in New York in 1916. Given that the start of the First World War – and the consequent absconding of both European and American buyers – had resulted in a crisis in the art market in Italy, Volpi travelled to the USA to plan, together with American Art Galleries, the sale by auction of the complete furnishings of Palazzo Davanzati. The 1215 items produced proceeds of just under one million dollars. The success of that auction was tantamount to direct access to the American market for Italian antiquarians, even if regarded with suspicion by overseas colleagues who feared the competition. Volpi worked from New York several more times, not least in 1918 when he organized the auction of the Bardini collection. It is presumed that many photographs in his collections were taken especially for the catalogues of the respective auctions. Nevertheless, the last auction, in 1927, was a disaster. The failure was due to both the imminent economic crisis and greater mistrust on the part of the public resulting from the growing number of fakes as well as a change in the taste of the buyers, no longer wishing to furnish their houses and villas in the Renaissance style.


Brogi: Auction in Villino Volpi, Florence, 1914. Albumin print, 19,1 x 24,1 cm, 1914, inv. no. 402456

Unidentified photographer: Sarcophagus with putti and centaures, auction Volpi, Florence 1910. Silver bromide gelatine print, 17 x 23,3 cm, c. 1910, inv. no. 647454

Unidentified photographer: Fountain, auction Volpi, Florence 1910. Albumin print, 28,7 x 13,4 cm, c. 1910, inv. no. 647451

Unidentified photographer: Ancient male bust, auction Volpi, Florence 1910. Albumin print, 28,8 x 18,5 cm, c. 1910, inv. no. 647453

Unidentified photographer: Portrait of a young man, attr. to Baldassarre Peruzzi, auction Volpi, New York 1916. Carbon print, 25 x 19,4 cm, before 1916, inv. no. 647443

Brogi: Spinning wheel, Italy, 17th century, auction Volpi, New York 1916. Albumin print, 23,8 x 18,6 cm, c. 1916, inv. no. 434762

Unidentified photographer: John the Baptist, after Giovanni Francesco Rustici, auction Volpi, New York 1917, now New York, Pierpont Morgan Library. Silver bromide gelatine print, 25,7 x 19,1 cm, before 1917, inv. no. 647445

Unidentified photographer: Prie Dieu, Umbria, 16th century, auction Volpi, New York 1917. Silver bromide gelatine print, 20,5 x 18,9 cm, c. 1917, inv. no. 435061

Unidentified photographer: Paintings in the Bardini collection, auction Bardini, New York 1918. Silver gelatine print with handwritten numbers based on the auction catalogue, 17,9 x 24,9 cm, c. 1918, inv. no. 432842

Unidentified photographer: Male and female bust, attributed to Alessandro Vittoria, auction Bardini, New York 1918. Silver bromide gelatine print, 18 x 15,5-17,5 cm, c. 1918, inv. no.647441

Unidentified photographer: Male and female bust, attributed to Alessandro Vittoria, auction Bardini, New York 1918. Silver bromide gelatine print, 18 x 15,5-17,5 cm, c. 1918, inv. no.647441

Unidentified photographer: Female bust, auction Bardini, New York 1918?. Silver bromide gelatine print, 15,6 x 8,7 cm, c. 1918, inv. no. 647442

Unidentified photographer: Tester bed, Tuscany, 16th century, auction Bardini, New York 1918. Silver bromide gelatine print, 23,5 x 17,9 cm, c. 1918, inv. no. 434758

Unidentified photographer: Painted tester of a bed, Tuscany, 16th century, auction Bardini, New York 1918. Silver bromide gelatine print, 24,9 x 19,3 cm, c. 1918, inv. no. 434759

Unidentified photographer: Wardrobe and chest, Italy, 16th century, auction Volpi, New York 1927. Silver bromide gelatine print, 20,5 x 19,8 cm, c. 1918, inv. no. 435054

Unidentified photographer: Ancient sculptures, auction Volpi, New York 1927. Silver bromide gelatine print, 19,8 x 25,6 cm, c. 1918, inv. no. 647446

Fancelli, Stefano: Auction catalogue Volpi 1927, New York, American Art Galleries. Digital photograph 2013




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Unidentified photographer: Painted tester of a bed, Tuscany, 16th century, auction Bardini, New York 1918. Silver bromide gelatine print, 24,9 x 19,3 cm, c. 1918, inv. no. 434759

© KHI in Florence | 29.10.2020 02:55:06