The National Trust buy back a Kauffman in a No Reserve sale!

October 2 2023

Image of The National Trust buy back a Kauffman in a No Reserve sale!


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Interesting news that The National Trust have acquired Angelica Kauffman's Penelope awakened by Euryclea with the news of Ulysses' Return in Christie's New York's May 'REMASTERED: OLD MASTERS FROM THE COLLECTION OF J.E. SAFRA - SELLING WITHOUT RESERVE.' The painting, which eventually sold for $214,200 over its estimate $150,000 – 250,000, has been bought back for Stourhead, the country house of the Hoare family who sold the artwork back in 1883.

The BBC linked article above quotes the National Trust cultural heritage curator Stephen Ponder:

He said it was "a rare opportunity to acquire the painting for public benefit and return it for display and interpretation".

"With so little time available, I hardly dared hope that we might be able to find the funding and make a successful bid to bring the painting back to Stourhead," he added.

Mr Ponder said seeing it for the first time was "a very exciting moment" and "one of the highlights of his career".

This seems to be a rare and good example of how UK cultural and heritage organisations can be nimble footed when it comes to raising money to purchase works at auction, rather than through dealers at a later date (with added premiums on top, quite often).

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