To celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, the iconic auction house is throwing open its doors for a month-long programme of exhibitions, events and sales. As part of this major series of events running 28 May - 15 June, the Sotheby's galleries will be given over to specially curated exhibitions of royal portraits, rare tiaras and important manuscripts.
Royal Portraits and Manuscripts
From postage stamps to commemorative oil paintings, the Queen and her demure expression have been captured across a variety of mediums during her impressive 70-year reign. Sotheby's exhibition of historic portraits also features historic documents and beautifully bound books loaned from important country houses across the United Kingdom.
Notable highlights include a finely bound bible, just one of 25 editions created for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Coronation in 1953. There are imposing works of art depicting the Tudors dressed in all their finery. The Armada portrait on loan from the Woburn Abbey collection, was painted to commemorate the most famous conflict of Elizabeth I's reign, the failed invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in 1588.
Fast-forward to the 20th Century and Andy Warhol's brightly coloured 'Reigning Queens, 1985' features Her Majesty resplendent in bold red lipstick, tiara and pearls. This iconic screen-print perfectly representing the global and ‘celebrity’ age in which the Queen has reigned. And then there is British artist Chris Levine's ethereal 'Lightness of Being' lenticular lightbox. The latter will also feature in British Art: The Jubilee auction, which will be held here on June 29.
A showcase of dazzling noble and aristocratic jewelled tiaras with British and European royal provenance will be another highlight of Sotheby's Jubilee season. Each stunning tiara on view follows the evolution in designs prompted by monarchic taste, societal and economic shifts and influence from other art forms. This is best demonstrated in a diamond tiara from the 1830s, designed as a wreath of diamond-set leaves in homage to the classical designs of ancient Rome. Meanwhile, an exquisite turquoise cabochon and diamond tiara by Van Cleef & Arpels, crafted in the 1960s is breathtakingly beautiful.
Chatsworth at Sotheby's Restaurant
If you are feeling a little peckish after feasting your eyes on all those delicious diamonds, then might we suggest you make your way to Sotheby's New Bond Street restaurant? As part of a unique pairing, Chatsworth, country seat of the Devonshire family, will be serving up decadent dishes in the Sotheby’s Restaurant. From Chatsworth estate-reared lamb to fresh produce from the Chatsworth kitchen gardens and Chatsworth Gin cocktails, there will be plenty to enjoy.