The Auction House Cambi was set up in 1998 after a long activity in the field of fine arts and auctions, standing out soon as one of the emerging realities at a National level. Together with the traditional fine arts auctions, Cambi stands out for its specialist auctions addressed also to niche sectors as maritime art, scientific instruments, ancient frames, specializations continuing still today.
In 2000, the first sale out of the headquarters of the auction house was held in Villa Toscanelli in the province of Pisa, followed, in 2002, by the sale of Palazzo Tornielli di Cresvolant in Molare (Alessandria) and the one of Villa De Nobili Fossati Raggio in Genoa, in 2003. Always in 2002, one of the most important monographic operations took place: the sale of the collection of paintings and objects of the painter Oscar Saccorotti coming from his house Pettirosso, an event which roused the city with interventions and debates on press and television.
The year 2004 is an extremely important year for the auction house which moved its headquarters to Castello Mackenzie, masterpiece of the Florence architect Gino Coppedè.
In this way, the company could grow thanks to the high quality of the exhibition room and of the organization. In 2005, another important sale took place: the inheritance of the Marquis Spinola of the Tessarolo Castel in Piedmont, which, for logistic reasons, was moved to Genoa. In 2006 and 2007, the sales were always most important with record adjudications culminating with the sale of two paintings by Giovanni Paolo Panini for Euro 393.000.
These are the years in which the auction house reached its current position, with experts for each sector of activity and representatives in all the most important Italian cities. Many sales of noble Italian families’ inheritances were organized and clients became every day more International with sales to the most important collectors, art gallery managers from Paris, London and New York and museums of all Europe, from the Biblioteque Nationale des Beaux Arts in Paris to the National Gallery in London or the Rahmi M. Koc Museum in Istanbul, and to less renown realities such as the Science Museum in Florence, The University of Boulogne or the Royal Museum of Lithuania.
In 2008, the sale of the furnishings of villa Canessa Devoto in the historical centre of Rapallo (Genoa) was organized arousing the interest of the public. Together with the traditional fine arts and old masters paintings, the auction house developed specialist sales in various sectors such as photography and modern and contemporary art. A charity sale of jewels donated by the Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi organized for some important Italian associations, closed the 2009 season which represented a very favourable year for the Auction House.
The year 2010 opened, despite the economic crisis, with record adjudications such as the one of a painting by Van Lint sold for more than € 190.000 during the auction in February or the incredible success of the sale of the furnishings of a Villa in the centre of Rome which culminated with the sale of a Neapolitan School portrait of the 17th century that, from an estimate of € 7.000-8.000, was sold for € 148.000.
During the season many successful initiatives were organized, from the sale of the furnishings of a shooting lodge in Lazio, to the maritime auction in September held for the first time in Imperia on the occasion of the event Vele d’Epoca and during which a motor-boat Riva Aquarama of 1965 was sold for € 150.000.
In Octber, the celebrations for the Auction number 100 with many prestigious sales and the auction of the painting of the Svedomskij Atelier with more than 95% of the items sold attracted Russian, French and German buyers from all Europe. In 2010, the sale of the GM Collection was completed, a collection that, in two years, brought almost 2000 lots in our auctions including glasses, shrines, sewing object, bronzes, majolica objects and curiosities hard to find on the market.
The beginning of 2011 inaugurated two new specialist auctions, the one of carpets and the one of oriental art that, seen the success of their first edition, will be reorganized with regularity every six months.
In April the first auction dedicated to African art was knocked down, while in May the sale of the furnishings of Villa la Femara in Oglianico (Turin) was organized, another important sale which projected the auction house at the top Italian levels, with great adjudications as for furnishings, old masters paintings and clocks, with many lots that duplicate or triplicate their initial estimate.