PORRO & CO
Porro & Co is a very young company founded in spring 2002, with the aim of working in the highest segment of the art market in Italy, both by trading very significant works of art, and by managing important collections as well as by organising auction sales of high profile and quality.
Casimiro Porro, president and CEO of the company, has a long history as a key player in the art market, first as a founding member of Finarte, and then as president of that same company, moving from the old concept when auction houses were considered to be interested only in selling, to a modern conception of this type of intermediary, which includes not only selling, but also providing advice in the management of important collections, always keeping in mind the cultural value of the works, safeguarded by the involvement of eminent personalities of the art history, creating proper study committees for the most significant lots.
Since 2002, the year of its foundation, Porro & C. has organized nearly eighty auctions, which include important lots that were presented to the public with great success.
The first sale.
A collection of works of art from Naples from the XVII to the middle of the XIX century, held in Milan April 3, 2003, has dispersed an extraordinary set of Neapolitan works ranging from paintings to furniture, from Capodimonte porcelain to Castelli majolica, to silver, to miniatures.
The collection created in relatively recent times with extreme passion and attention included as well works by international artists, attracted to Naples by the extraordinary cultural fervency of the city, as Vernet, Manglard, Lacroix de Marseille, Scedrin.
The collections of the Nadini group.
In the summer 2003, Porro & C., in a tender in which participated the main national and international operators, obtained from Court of Modena the entrusting for the sale of the art collections following the Nadini Group S.p.A bankruptcy. The collections of the Nadini Group, gathered in two decades from Cav. Giacomo Bizzini, represented one of the most important Italian private collections with a remarkable series of still life paintings of the Emilian school of the XVII and XVIII. Porro & C. has devoted four sales to the Collections of the Nadini Group, held between November 2003 and December 2004, which amounted to more than 10 million euros scoring record prices for many artists such as Giovanni Lanfranco and Bartholomeo Schedoni.
The Biki and Versace collections
Once completed the sale of the collections of the Nadini Group, Porro & C. has received two other prestigious entrustings, both related to the fashion world. In autumn 2004 the was the sale of the collection of Biki, the great Couturière of the 50s so dear to Maria Callas and the great Milanese bourgeoisie, full of masterpieces of Venetian painting of XVIII century including the two great Capricci by Francesco Guardi, auctioned for more than one million Euros.
In the spring 2005, the two sales of the collection created by Gianni Versace took place, the first dedicated to furniture and paintings of the house in Milan, the second to the collections kept in the villa in Moltrasio,on Lake Como. The Versace sales have been extremely successful with collectors coming from all over the world to compete for the objects that belonged to the great fashion-designer and a sale percentage that, for the first auction, reached 95%.
Since 2003 Porro & C organizes modern and contemporary art auction sales which includes the most important artists of the XX Century: from Morandi to Warhol, from Boccioni to Fontana. Among the most important awards it is worth noticing the Fluidità di Primavera by Giacomo Balla Spring sold for 329,000 Euros during the auction on December 16, 2003 and that of the Fiori by Giorgio Morandi which reached 247,000 Euros during the sale on June 14, 2004.
Since 2005 the company has embarked on a project to enhance the contemporary art department, due to the great attention given to it by contemporary society. Therefore, sales have been organized in which, on the one hand the offer of works has expanded, on the other hand we have continued to focus on the quality of the lots as a cardinal principle that animates the entire activity of the company. On the occasion of these sales, since autumn 2005, important works have been awarded, such as a White Predominating by William Scott, which starting from an estimate of 35,000/45,000 Euro, was sold for 186,000 Euro, arising great interest abroad too. On May 2006, however, a Concetto Spaziale by Lucio Fontana has been awarded for 200,000 Euro, while in autumn on the same year, a large canvas painting by Hans Hartung was awarded for 150,000 Euro.
In addition to modern art, over the years the offer of Porro & C. It has been enriched by another important variation combining poetry to the technique: the glass.
2007 was the year that saw the birth of the elegant sales dedicated to artist glasses , that with their transparency and harmonies have won the favour of many clients who have decided to enrich their collections with these ethereal works of art; auction results have reflected this enthusiasm too, one of all a wonderful Venini cup, piece having a museum value, called the "coppa delle mani" (designed by Tomaso Buzzi) sold for 65,000 Euros. 2007 ended with another extraordinary sale dedicated to Art Deco and Art Nuveau glass, where two elegant Tiffany lamps have dominated the scene realizing a result of 37,820 Euro each.
Sales to museums
The year 2008 was characterized by the sale of an important painting by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, known as Guercino, depicting the Sibilla Samia, whose counterpart is now in the British Royal Collection and a copy can be seen in the Uffizi in Florence. The painting, acquired by Bologna Savings Bank , was awarded for 805,600 Euros and went to enrich the collection of the Bolognese Foundation.
In 2009 we remember in particular the sale of the "Via Crucis" by Lucio Fontana, first bought by the Lombardy Region and then bestowed to the Diocesan Museum in Milan: the latter has devoted an entire hall for the show of this monumental work by Fontana making it available to the entire city of Milan. The year ended with the sale of another work, which now enriches the halls of another Museum, this time the one in Capodimonte, an Andrea Sabbatini from Salerno depicting a Madonna and Child with St. Matthew and St. John the Evangelist.
The great collections
2011 was the year of the great auction sales dedicated to the collections of the historical actors on the Italian cultural scene: the first was the sale of the collection of Claudia Gian Ferrari, historical protagonist of the Milanese cultural life who, with the eponymous gallery run along with his family, became a solid reference in the artistic panorama of the city. The collection, created by a keen eye to quality, gathered all the leading artists of the Italian XX Century, such as Arturo Martini, Mario Sironi, Filippo De Pisis and Fausto Pirandello.
Then there was the sale of the elegant collection of glass of Bernd and Eva Hockmeyer, followed by the personal collection of paintings of Pompeo Mariani, until finally finishing with the furniture, paintings and sculptures of the Santo Versace collection.
In November of the same year, Porro & C. made the sale of the collection of the Roman house of the literary critic and academic Natalino Sapegno, characterized by neoclassical paintings and furnishings including a copy of tempera paintings by Gaspar van Wittel.
Not only Venini
2012 started with a particular group of crib figures, from the collection of a renowned Neapolitan professional, offering a range of world's well-known lots to specific collectors as "l’Angelo nudo" by Giuseppe Sammartino coming from the prestigious collection of Leopoldo di Borbone, Prince of Salerno, that achieved a result amounting to 58,280 Euro.
Porro & C. has also organized an interesting sale, entitled "Only Venini" collecting the artist's trials from the Venini Museum, unique works of their kind, and has ended the year with an auction dedicated to contemporary art and design, where a "Superficie alluminio"by Enrico Castellani was sold for 142,600 Euro.
Ancient Master paintings
2013 was characterized by several important sales of ancient paintings: the sale of November 28 has grouped the works of an important collection of a credit institution and that of a social security institution. Among the sold works, we remember a rare example of the artistic production of the Verona area of the XIV Century, a "Madonna con Bambino" attributed to Altichiero from Zevio, one of the greatest Venetian painters of this period, sold for 124,000 Euro. Another masterpiece presented in this auction was a " Natura morta di frutta e ortaggi " by Adriaen van Utrecht, which could be ascribed to the full production of the Master and so imbued with all the qualities that made great his painting. The painting was sold for 135,000 Euros.
Last but first for its award value is a fine painting by Bartolomeo Cavarozzi depicting the Holy Family, which with its careful balance of light and shadow has captivated the audience reaching a sales profit of 347,200 Euro.
The first auction in 2014 has continued to present important works of ancient art as "le esequie di San Pietro Martire" by Antonio Vivarini, one of the planks of the dispersed altarpiece dedicated to St. Peter Martyr of which four tables are stored in the Gemaldegalerie in Berlin and one at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
Our mission today, as then
For each sale the auction house Porro & C. undertakes to submit a choosen nucleus of works of art, selected for value and significance: each lot is assessed according to its historical interest, pictorial quality achieved and its role within the artistic production of the reference Master.
Porro & C. has therefore chose to draw up its sales catalogues giving priority to the quality of the works offered rather than the amount of lots presented, thus ensuring to discerning collectors many ideas to enrich their collections in every auction. For those who wish to turn to us for sale, our experts are available for a free evaluation of the work and an interview with the owner in order to meet the basic needs of the customer and the characteristics of the work, together with the most effective sale strategies.