Andrew Wyld sale at Christie's

May 31 2012

Image of Andrew Wyld sale at Christie's

Picture: Philip Mould/W/S Fine Art & Christie's

The auction catalogue for the sale of the late Andrew Wyld, one of the finest art dealers of his generation, has gone online. Andrew's gallery was just next to ours in Dover St, and while I can't say I ever knew him well, he was always a friendly face, a trove of knowledge, and above all a great connoisseur. It's nice to see that the Christie's sale is called 'Andrew Wyld: Connoisseur Dealer', for despite what some believe, the two disciplines go well together. Andrew had a good take on connoisseurship, which I use in my lectures on the subject:

“Academic study can lead to a closed mind. There is a world of difference between looking at thousands of photographs of works of art, with occasional visits to museums, and spending time in the saleroom looking at the real thing. Most of the things that one sees are not very good, but it trains the eye better to learn that way."

Lot 28 in the sale is a drawing by Romney of the Rev. William Atkinson. I reported on the curious coincidence behind this drawing some time ago. But to recap briefly, we found mis-catalogued at auction a portrait of the Rev. William Atkinson by George Romney (above left) and hung it in our window. Andrew had at the same time acquired a drawing by Romney (above right) of the same sitter in a hat - but didn't know who his sitter was until he walked past our window on his way home one night. It's a nice example of how the trade can advance art history. So too is lot 91 in the Christie's sale, a study of clouds by John Constable, which Andrew found in a minor country sale.  

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