Sotheby's set new record for Guardi

July 7 2011

As I hinted yesterday, the Guardi sold strongly at Sotheby's, selling for £26.7m (including premium). It tops Christie's Stubbs as the highest selling lot of the London Old Masters week.

I was way out on the Portrait of a Carmelite Monk, which sold at the lower estimate of £600,000 (making £713k all in). I thought it would do far better. It seems the picture suffered from over-speculation. The latest theory doing the rounds was that it was by Jacob Jordaens, which is a bonkers idea. The buyer, I think, has a bargain...

There were some perhaps suprising failures, such as this Santi di Tito portrait (est.£150-200k), and the Cranach the Elder portrait of Martin Luther (est.£150-200k). The latter had been shown in the catalogue 'stripped down', showing large losses in the background. Perhaps that wasn't such a good idea... Also buying-in was an early self-portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence (est.£80-120k). It had recently been included in the National Portrait Gallery's Lawrence exhibition.

It has been a patchy week at the sales. At the Christie's day sale yesterday the buy-in rate was almost 50%.

Notice to "Internet Explorer" Users

You are seeing this notice because you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 (or older version). IE6 is now a deprecated browser which this website no longer supports. To view the Art History News website, you can easily do so by downloading one of the following, freely available browsers:

Once you have upgraded your browser, you can return to this page using the new application, whereupon this notice will have been replaced by the full website and its content.