Encouraging news for Old Master Paintings Sales

April 8 2020

Image of Encouraging news for Old Master Paintings Sales

Picture: Sotheby’s

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Some very encouraging news to report from the Old Master Paintings auction world today. The London dealer Rafael Valls’s recent online sale with Sotheby’s brought in a total of £1,601,375 (inc. fees). This number was nearly four times the pre-sale estimate of £430,000, as Head of Department Andrew Fletcher reported via. his Instagram page.

Having a look through the results it seems that many paintings did extremely well against their estimates. The most impressive result, especially considering the current climate, was for a Portrait of a gentleman standing beside a framed portrait of a Lady – Italian Flemish School 17th century (pictured) which made £275,000 (inc. fees) against an estimate of £8,000 – £12,000.

Auctioning in collaborating with art dealers has always been something of a risky business, especially if they are generally perceived as a ‘stock sale’ by the trade (ie. pictures that dealers have not yet sold privately). I’ve personally never seen the shame in this at all, a good picture will always be a good picture. However, what auctions do provide is that all important factor of the urgency of time. Auction houses too can bring greater exposure than dealers can sometimes muster themselves. This is particularly the case online. Equally, in our age where the pool of finding good pictures is generally shrinking, finding attractive pictures for sale will always be of interest to the auction houses.


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