Christie's evening Old Master sale
December 4 2013
Last night's evening sale at Christie's was a fairly average affair I felt. Nothing took off in a stellar way, but there were also no major casualties. The total was £21.8m. The 'Rembrandt & Studio' (above) sold for £2.5m (inc. premium), The large Claude made the top price of the evening, at just over £5m. What a bargain this would have been had it not been withdrawn at the last minute from Christie's South Kensington as 'follower of...'. Talking of bargains, the steal of the day was surely the large 'Studio of Rubens' of Hercules, at £385k. More 'Rubens and Studio', unquestionably. As a purveyor of British portraits, I was heartened to see a relatively standard corridor portrait of Elizabeth I not only be included in a Christie's evening sale (it used to be a day sale kind of picture), but also make £135k. These things are going up in value. Also, the Reynolds portrait of a boy made a strong price, at £600k (against an estimate of £100k-£150k).
Update - it has been pointed out to me that for half the price of Jeff Koons' recently sold Orange Dog, you could have bought the whole of last night's sale. Think about that for a moment. For half a Koons, you could have a Rembrandt, a Claude, a mostly-Rubens, a Brueghel, a Steen, etc. etc.