Stefano Redaelli opens the art gallery `Il Ponte` at Palazzo Crivelli, Marquis Crivelli`s historical residence, in via Pontaccio 12, Milan, in the middle of Brera. A few years later, the name was changed to Il Ponte Casa d`Aste, in order to maintain the onomatopoeic reference to the street where the gallery is located and, at the same time, to emphasise the role of a connection between seller and buyer, implicit in the activity.
First prestigious properties
In the 1980`s, the Auction House was entrusted with prestigious consignments, such as Villa Borromeo in Senago, the engineer Stampa`s legacy for Sant`Anna Hospital in Como, Ca` d’Industria, Barattieri Castle in San Pietro in Cerro, the clown Grock`s heritage. Real cultural inheritances revealed to the public thanks to the first photographic brochures as an invitation to the auctions, appreciated by leafing through catalogues with essential texts and without images.
In the early 1990`s, Il Ponte approaches the modern art experience founding a parallel company, Il Ponte Modern Art, entrusting the furniture exhibition to Alchimia, the architectural group led by Alessandro Mendini.
Musicalia is the title given to the first enchanting auction entirely dedicated to musical instruments and held in Cremona, the home of violin making, in October 1996.
One of the most important international recognitions arrived in 1999 with the sale of Renzo Mongiardino's legacy, thanks to the fascinating house-studio room reconstructions by the architects Roberto Peregalli and Laura Rimini, assisted by the artists-craftsmen who had collaborated with Mongiardino, and immortalised in magazines all over the world, from Vogue Germany and AD France to the New York Times.
In September 2000, the "Suor Agnese" Institute for the Care of the Elderly entrusted the Castaldi-Pasqualini Inheritance. The auction is organised around three main core sections: jewellery, contemporary art and a large wardrobe of Yves Saint Laurent garments (70s/80s) which, as a pioneer in Italy, the auction house manages in a curious and unusual session dedicated to Vintage Fashion.
After a ten-years pause, in 2001, the modern and contemporary art department resumed with major acquisitions, among which the Villa Sant`Antonio Collection in Pozza di Maranello's.
The second millenium continues with a series of memorable auction: Gino di Lora House sale with the last works from an historic 19th century painting collection; the Necchi Campiglio Legacy, in favour of the Fondazione per la Formazione Oncologica; the historic Milanese club Società Artisti and Patriottica properties.
The ViaPitteriDieci premises is opened: an industrial space covering over 3.000 mq, designed to allow an increasingly broad public to become interested in auctions without an excessive financial commitment, by accessing the more commercial lots of the most varied types and at very affordable prices.
In May, the Fashion Vintage Department was officially inaugurated following the sale of Evelina Levi Broglio’s wardrobe, undisputed lady of elegance and good taste. The success was so great that the press and television gave wide coverage to the event and even today the public remembers the record results of the 22 Hermès Kelly bags, the Capucci dresses, the unforgettable evening outfits and the Chanel suits.
A new sector of interest was beginning to emerge: Oriental Art. The extraordinary and unexpected results recorded at the Asian Works of Art auction in 2011 paved the way to the opening of a dedicated department, which would be characterized by the massive presence of Asian clients, particularly Chinese.
Mike Bongiorno's memorabilia auction, organised by his family and charity Foundation, had a huge impact. In December, Il Ponte offered to the public the property of another illustrious Italian character from the First Republic: Giorgio Forattini.
The event of the year was the sale of Mariuccia Mandelli's (Krizia) Private Collection: a tribute to the memory of the eclectic and refined designer, the lady of haute couture.
Eduardo de Filippo
In October, a selection of works from Eduardo de Filippo's legacy was auctioned off, bearing witness to the private and artistic dimension of the famous Neapolitan playwright and actor.
This is the year of challenges and technological innovations. The launch of IlPonteLive platform opened the year, alongside the implementation of increasingly accurate digital services (exhibition virtual tours, online browsable catalogues, video interviews with the experts) that enable a new way of enjoying the auction proposals.5>
Business strategies aimed at bringing the auction adrenaline rush “to your doorstep” have been strengthened, with more interactive contents to get to the heart of the catalogue. In the post-pandemic and recovery year, the brilliant results of the first half of the year: the great media appeal of the Cesare and Gina Romiti Collection and of that of Philippe Daverio, the famous art critic, the exponential increase in new clients from around the world and the entry of new generations of customers highlight a growing interest in the auction world.
Palazzo Crivelli inaugurates the year with a very special appointment dedicated to the actress Valentina Cortese, an icon of the theater, a divine diva, a symbol of elegance and talent, whose bequest was auctioned in the first week of March to support the Mario Negri Institute and the Piccolo Teatro di Milano. Under the Patronage of the Municipality of Milan and the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, the initiative ended with an astonishing success, culminating in a last and thunderous virtual applause to the great diva by fans, collectors and friends who participated from all over the world, leading to totalize over €1.3 million, 100% of lots sold with tenfold prices.