Rock and Roll and Rene Buthaud
Exploring the Collection of Seymour Stein, Founder of Sire Records
16 January 2018
Seymour Stein, founder of Sire Records, is a music legend, celebrated as the champion of Punk and New Wave. On January 20, 2018, a selection of his private collection of art and music memorabilia will be hitting the auction block at Rago.
Self-described as one of the last old-school “record men” still working in the music business, Stein signed artists that include the Ramones, Talking Heads and Madonna. Sire has been a home for these artists and others, including the Pretenders, the Cure and the Smiths. Madonna is quoted as saying of Stein, “He’s more interested in the music than whether he’s going to get platinum records out of it.”
He got those platinum records nevertheless; the auction includes platinum and gold albums by Madonna, The Ramones, K.D. Lang and Depeche Mode, as well as other rock memorabilia; art glass by Rene Lalique; ceramics by Jean Mayodon, Edouard Cazaux, Charles Catteau, Boch Freres, Wedgwood and Sevres; and fine art including a rare panel by Jean Dunand.
Explore highlights from the sale below.
Her second studio album, Like a Virgin was Madonna's first album to hit number one on the Billboard charts. A truly historic recording, it was also the first by a female artist to sell over 5 million copies domestically.
The single “Like a Virgin” was Madonna’s first #1 hit in the U.S. and “Into the Groove” was her first #1 hit in the U.K. The album was certified ‘Diamond’ by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 1999 and has sold more than 21 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time.
Charles Catteau is considered a master of Art Deco ceramics. A French Art Deco industrial designer who trained at the National Ceramics School in Sèvres, Catteau employed animals and scenes of nature as recurring themes in his work. Powerfully rendered and imposingly proportioned (standing 62 ½ inches on its base), this exhibition vase is a stunning example of the maker’s oeuvre.
Sèvres is one of the great European porcelain manufacturers. Continuously in operation, the company has been creating decorative and functional objects since 1740.
Due to its reputation for excellence, Sevres has attracted some of the best artists in the world over the course of its nearly 300 year history. In the 20th century these have included Jean Arp, Alexander Calder, Yayoi Kusama, Serge Poliakoff and Ettore Sottsass.
The quintessential American Punk band, the Ramones began Blitzkrieg Bopping around the NYC scene in 1974. Ramones Mania is a compilation album of Ramones songs released by Sire Records in 1988 and remains the band’s best-selling album of all time. It was the first and only Ramones album to achieve gold sales status until their self-titled debut album earned that distinction in 2014.
René Buthaud is considered one of the most accomplished and important French ceramist of the Art Deco period. His work received critical acclaim from fellow artists such as Maurice Denis and Jean Dunand, with Dunand purchasing some of Buthaud’s first works.