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About Auction House

In 1979, Antonio Climent Benaiges - a pioneer importer of antiques - and Juan Baldrich decided to establish an auction house that would become a sector benchmark. The name, Bal-cli-s is a neologism derived from the fusion of their family names. They were both attracted to a new and compelling business model that had taken root in England. Their budding auction house contributed to promoting and spreading an interest in art and in auctions among the general public. Balclis took on a key educational role laying the groundwork for greater transparency in the art market.

Auction Previews & News

7 Results
  • Press Release
    Titanic’s most wanted objects by collectors

    More than 100 years after the tragic sinking, the legend of the Titanic still fascinates us. Historians, businessmen, oceanographers and treasure hunters have been exploring for decades the innermost depths of the ocean in search of the wreck’s remains. In 1985, the oceanographer Robert Ballard found the ocean liner at a depth of 4 km, about 800 km from the Canadian coastline, although it was two years later when the first underwater excavation was carried out to recover many of the lost objects. Today we are going to show you some of those high-value pieces, which were awarded at different auctions and, therefore, the most popular among the world’s great collectors.  1. Diamonds bracelets Many of you might remember the beautiful “Heart of the Ocean” necklace that Rose wore in the film Titanic. Obviously, and far from reality, that pendant is completely fiction; however, it is true that, in one of those explorations, it was found a similar pendant: it had a small blue stone, and it belonged to a young passenger aged 19, Kate Phillips, and it probably was the one that inspired the love story by James Cameron. There have been found many jewels throughout all these years; and it makes sense, since most of the people who boarded were rich and famous. Among the jewels found, we must mention the recovery of a small collection of gold bracelets with diamonds inlays, one of them engraved with the name “Amy”, which was sold for €1.7 million. 2. Wallace Hartley’s violin The violin used by the conductor of the Titanic’s orchestra, Wallace Hartley, to calm down the passengers who boarded the lifeboats while the huge ship was sinking, was also one of the most valued pieces in 2013, when it was sold for €1.5 million. Made in Germany, it was found in a leather case tied to Wallace’s body after he died, together with the other musicians, during the sinking. The precious violin, which has a small inscription on the top, reveals that it was a gift from his wife, Maria Robinson, on the occasion of their engagement ceremony. It seems that the conductor never wanted to separate himself from…

  • Press Release
    Ceramics From Manises: History Of The Most Summery Material

    Pottery from Manises (in Valencia, Spain) has its origin in metallic reflection ceramics from the Muslim era. After the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula by the Muslims (711 A.D.), decorative arts were influenced by the eastern region; so ivory, textiles and ceramics became all famous for their great quality. Before that conquest, metallic reflection ceramic had already been used in other places, such as Persia or Mesopotamia, and in the Iberian Peninsula it had been very important at the time of the Caliphate and later, during the Nasrid dynasty. The city of Málaga became its main production centre and, in the 14th Century, it spread to Manises, Paterna (Valencia), and subsequently to Reus, Muel and Barcelona. 1. History of Manises ceramics The development of eastern-Spanish ceramics began around 1304, during the reign of James II, when the Lordships of Manises and Paterna were bought by D. Pedro Boil, ambassador of John I in the court of Granada. He established there metallic reflection ceramics imported by the Muslims and moved many Nasrid ceramists to his lands, until Manises became the most important producer of ceramics in the Middle Ages. There, potters had been in Moorish hands for a long time, and they used to make cobalt blue earthenware pieces over a tin bath, or in green and manganese, but they were mainly used for local consumption. However, after the settlement of the new ceramist centre, the most requested production was the one we now know as Manises, and especially the gilt earthenware, which was even exported. Ceramics reached its peak in the 15th and 16th centuries, at the same time as the trade boom in Valencia, which became the main port in the Mediterranean. That is how a great amount of ceramic works arrived to the great Italian families from Naples, Florence, Siena or Venice, replacing gold and silver crockeries. Also popes Alexander VI and Callixtus III often requested earthenware and tiles from eastern Spain to be used in Vatican halls. To a lesser extent, pieces were also exported to the Netherlands, where they were often depicted by Flemish painters, as in…

  • Exhibitions
    Ten Essential Works In The Reina Sofía Museum

    Founded in 1992, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia is one of the most important museums in Spain, as it offers visitors an extensive collection of more than 21,000 works of contemporary art. Today, we are going to talk about ten essential works in the Reina Sofía Museum. It is considered the best complement to the Prado Museum, since it continues with the periods not covered by this other art gallery in Madrid. It stands out mainly for the large number of works by three of the greatest Spanish artists of the 20th Century: Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró. 1. A high number of works by the great Spanish artists The collection on surrealist art, with works by Yves Tanguy, Francis Picabia, René Magritte and others, is very relevant as well. Also important is the Cubist collection, where the names of George Braque, Juan Gris, Robert Delaunay or Fernand Léger are added to Pablo Picasso’s. Furthermore, we must not forget the presence of Expressionist artists such as Francis Bacon or Antonio Saura. In addition to these, there are many other trends, by artists such as Alexander Calder, Yves Klein, Mark Rothko, Miquel Barceló, Lucio Fontana, Antoni Tàpies, etc., from which we can see the many techniques, materials and pictorial genres used throughout history. As you can see, the huge variety of artists is key in this museum, and perhaps the main reason for it to have become, with almost four million visitors in 2017, the most visited museum in Spain, and the eighth most visited in Europe, according to a study carried out every year by AECOM. 2. The most important works in the Reina Sofía Museum We would like to invite you to find out some of the most important works you should see on your visit to the Reina Sofia Museum, so… Let’s go! 1. Guernica, by Pablo Picasso. 1937 Guernica is undoubtedly the most famous work in this museum. It was commissioned to Picasso by the Government of the Spanish Second Republic to decorate the Spanish Pavilion at the 1937 Paris International Exhibition. It arrived at…

  • Press Release
    The Lost Jewels Of The Spanish Crown

    Summer 1622. A large Spanish fleet was returning to Spain from Havana, full of great riches from Orient and the Indies. It was protected by the guard galleons, which had cellars full of the most valuable treasures. Every year it made the same route, but on that occasion, during the cyclone season, the navy was delayed, so that on its way to the Bahamas Channel it was caught up in a terrible storm with catastrophic consequences: eight sunken ships, among them the Santa Margarita and the Nuestra Señora de Atocha, which were sailing together; more than 185,000 pesos in silver coins; 23 tons of gold and silver ingots; more than 500 tons of copper, and an invaluable amount of jewels were lost in the depths of the ocean along with the lives of hundreds of people. Over the following decades, Spain carried out several rescue operations to recover what had been lost, but the galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha was never found. That treasure fleet was forgotten as the years went by. Today, on our jewellery blog, we are going to tell you the full story. In pursuit of the lost ship of jewels In the late 1960s, a Californian diving instructor, Mel Fisher, was able to find the track where Spanish ships could be found, on the basis of a series of documents from the Indies Archive in Seville. From that moment, Fisher, who had already participated in other successful explorations of Spanish fleets, didn’t think it twice, and he decided to pursue this other equally tempting goal by undertaking the adventure. To do so, he set up a wreckage company, called Treasure Salvors, in which he involved his entire family and a large number of divers, archaeologists, and investors, and provided himself with the latest state-of-the-art exploration technology of that time. The research began in 1971 and, after several scattered finds, it was not until four years later that they found the ultimate evidence of the presence of the Atocha: two groups of bronze cannons whose inscriptions corresponded to the registration numbers of the galleon’s goods. However, everything…

  • Art Fairs
    Las Vegas: A Top Cultural And Artistic Destination

    There have been many descriptions of Las Vegas and certainly they are all very similar: “Las Vegas is the capital of neon and casinos, it’s extravagant, it’s tacky, but it’s fun” or, as Tom Wolfe said, “Las Vegas is the American Monte Carlo, but it doesn’t have the luxurious mustiness of the European aristocracy, it’s the capital of another kind of luxury, the place where nouveau richness has to dissimulate”. That’s how it is made known, and how it is known. In addition, travel guides emphasize the same idea, “clearly these are not cultural holidays, but fun”, taking for granted, not only that culture cannot be found in Las Vegas, but also that cultural tourism and fun are opposites, and that’s what says one of the most renowned American guides, Frommer’s. Today, we want to show you that Las Vegas is a cultural and artistic destination as well as an amusing one. Although it was conceived as a resort, as a playground, its luminous extravagance finally attracted not only fortune seekers and party tourists, but also a number of artists and writers. So let’s leave these prejudices behind for once, because yes, ladies and gentlemen, in Las Vegas there’s art too, and it’s worth getting to know it. In recent years, the city has become crowded with museums, art galleries and exhibition centres, from classical museums with important collections by great masters, such as the Bellagio Gallery, to galleries that showcase emerging local artists or contemporary experimentation spaces. Don’t you believe it? Let’s take a look to some of them below. 1. The Arts Factory The Arts Factory is a huge shopping mall full of contemporary art galleries and spaces aiming to promote local artists, including photographers, painters, graphic designers, and others. It is also a perfect place to discover the city’s artistic scene and atmosphere and to unwind from noise, as it is located in Gateway, one of the quietest areas for lunch or dinner at the well-known Bar+Bistro. Also, every first Friday of the month there is a party event in which local artists are introduced and their…

  • Press Release
    Influence of Ethnic Art in Europe

    The number of objects and the establishment of museums dedicated to Ethnic Art led artists from the emerging avant-garde, at the beginning of the 20th Century, to focus on the expressiveness of objects from Black Africa. Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso were some of the first artists who were seduced and influenced by those artistic expressions, and everyone knows the obvious influence of African masks on the characters’ faces in “Demoiselles d’Avignon” by Picasso. The Ethnographic Museum of the Trocadéro was created in 1878 in Paris, and it was mainly there where young avant-garde artists nourished their curiosity. Particularly in France, other museums were created, such as the Museum of Man, the Arts and Civilizations, the Museum of Arts from Africa and Oceania and the Dapper Museum in Paris. In the same vein, there is the Museum of African Art in Lyon (belonging to a religious congregation) and the Museum of African, Oceanian and Amerindian Arts, founded in Marseilles at the end of the 20th Century. At the same time, the Museum for the Belgian Congo was established in Belgium in 1910, promoted by King Leopold II, to house a large number of objects from its main colony. Sculptures and other items of Ethnic Art The most important part of ancient Ethnic Art are sculptures (mostly in bronze) from the Kingdom of Benin, which were mostly made during the 15th and 16th centuries. However, pieces on the market are basically of the 19th and 20th centuries, since these objects survived everyday’s use and customs with difficulty. Most of the items were made of wood, especially sculptures, but also masks, spoons or furniture, which were useful and have their own features depending on the ethnic group in which they were created. The use of patina and wear and tear give a special and more authentic value to those objects. An important aspect when it comes to calculate the age of African works of art is to know the traceability or origin of those works. Certainly, those who arrived in Europe, from the Congo to Belgium or from other colonies to their…

  • Press Release
    From Cave Paintings To 3D Drawings

    The earliest strokes were made in prehistoric times: cave paintings such as those in the caves of Altamira or Nerja. The main purpose of those drawings was to express and transmit images of human everyday’s life. This fact was always present to a greater or lesser extent during the following centuries. There are endless examples of artistic drawings in the subsequent centuries, from those by Chinese dynasties to Egyptian papyri and the magnificent Islamic manuscripts. Renaissance was a turning point, in which drawing emerged and reached its maximum splendour. Accuracy with regard to the representation of reality was linked to concepts such as proportion canons, directly inherited from Greek and Roman tradition. Those, combined with a new precision and attention to detail, gave rise to drawing’s masterpieces, some of which can be found in Balclis’ drawing and painting online auctions. Many of them were created by great Italian masters, such as Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci or Michelangelo. For the first time, measures and perspective games dominated over purely aesthetic aspects, in the shape of endless studies, elevations and architectural plans. Drawing and painting There is no doubt that drawing always remained closely linked to painting in a symbiotic attitude. In the 17th Century, this relationship developed into a fierce conflict where for the first time colour and drawing were openly confronted. On the one hand, there were those who advocated for drawing as an intellectual symbol, led by Poussin and Charles Lebrun, who was the director of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Paris. On the other hand, those who defended an absolute triumph of colour and the agile brushstroke that appealed directly to emotions, led by Rubens. Over the following centuries, drawing was always present in the artists’ production, in terms of notes or sketches and, to a certain extent, increasingly disconnected from painting, which evolved towards looser and freer lines, in movements such as Impressionism. In the 20th Century, new challenges for drawing arose: fashion figurines, caricatures or comics began to enjoy great success. But maybe one of the highlights was the creation of cartoons by Walt…