'British Old Masters are booming'

July 9 2018

Video: Sotheby's

Here's a punch video from Sotheby's, urging you to consign your British Old Masters for sale. The category is 'booming', they say, and you wouldn't be surprised to hear that I agree. Though as ever with the Old Master market there are pockets that remain resolutely unfashionable.

In The Art Newspaper, Anna Brady has good analysis of the recent London Old Master sales, with Sotheby's edging Christie's in both overall totals as well as selling rate (Sotheby's sale covered here, and Christie's here). It was interesting to see a number of pictures make serious price rises on even recent sales, such as a portrait by Caracci, which made £4.3m, after selling in New York in 2005 for £1.8m.

But there was disappointment at Christie's in not being able to sell Ruben's portrait of his daughter Clara Serena, despite doing an excellent job marketing it. I thought the picture would fly. So treat all my market views with great caution. But then regular readers know to treat everything I say with great caution...

I'll write more about the Clara Serena soon.

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