Category: Auctions

Sotheby's New York Master Paintings Part II

January 9 2022

Image of Sotheby's New York Master Paintings Part II

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Sotheby's New York have uploaded their Master Paintings Part II (the equivalent to the old 'day sale') to their website. This online sale will take place between 18th - 28th January 2022.

As usual, there are many intriguing paintings with tempting estimates on offer. The catalogue note and literature references for lot 311 (pictured) makes for especially interesting reading, however, I won't spoil any more of the fun!

Bernhard Strigel Angel up for Sale

January 7 2022

Video: Eric Turquin Expertise

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A few members of the art press have been pointing out a rare painted angel by Bernhard Strigel (1460–1528) that is coming up for sale in early February. The work dated to c.1520, rediscovered by Eric Turquin, relates to another angel by Strigel purchased by the Louvre Abu Dhabi at auction in 2008 for €1.1m. It is believed the panel might have been part of an altarpiece that was dismantled during the Reformation.

The work will be sold at the auction house Artpaugée, Paris,  on 4th February 2022 carrying an estimate of €600k - €800k. No prizes for guessing where it might end up...

Sotheby's are Hiring!

January 7 2022

Image of Sotheby's are Hiring!

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Sotheby's Old Master Paintings Department in London are hiring a Cataloguer.

The key objectives are the job are as follows:

To catalogue, organise, plan and lead on the mid-season and online sales; to catalogue and research Old Master paintings in the Day and Evening sales; to assist and in certain cases lead valuations and in due course to gather business for the above sales at New Bond Street.

No salary is indicated and neither is a deadline date set for applications. You'll have to have a BA or MA in art history as per the requirements of the role.

Good luck if you're applying!

Leonardo Outbid on Leonardo Ripoff

January 6 2022

Image of Leonardo Outbid on Leonardo Ripoff

Picture: pagesix.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

An amusing story from the world of celebrity gossip this week. Hollywood actor Leonardo di Caprio was supposedly outbid on a painting known as "Mona Lisa Bull Fighter" by at a UNICEF gala in St Barts a few days ago. The $1m work, clearly a rip-off by another famous Leonardo, was produced by Domingo Zapata, an artist whose works di Caprio is said to collect.

Reynolds's and Lawrence's Van Dyck Up for Sale

December 30 2021

Image of Reynolds's and Lawrence's Van Dyck Up for Sale

Picture: L - Sotheby's / R - Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I thought it may be of interest to point out that a Van Dyck owned by Sir Joshua Reynolds and Sir Thomas Lawrence is up for sale at Sotheby's New York's upcoming Nelson Shanks Collection Sale on 27th January 2022 with an estimate of $100k - $150k. The work is a head study of Saint Anthony of Padua which appears in large painting kept at the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan. As the catalolgue note explains, the picture was rejected in the 2004 catalogue raisonné, a project that didn't provide much attention at all to head studies. Fortunately, scholars have since given the work back to Van Dyck in full.

Curiously, the same picture was sold at Christie's in 2012 (right image), given to Van Dyck in full. Comparing pictures, isn't it astonishing how quickly varnish can discolour! (unless one of the images is photoshopped, of course)

Sotheby's New York January Sale

December 23 2021

Image of Sotheby's New York January Sale

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Sotheby's New York have uploaded their January Old Master Paintings sale online. The auction will take place on 27th January 2022.

Amongst their top lots are Botticelli's The Man of Sorrows estimated in excess of $40m; Giovanni Bellini's The Madonna and Child estimated at $3m - $5m; Correggio's Saint Mary Magdalen Reading estimated at $4.5m - $5.5m; Artemisia Gentileschi's Portrait of a Lady estimated at $2m - $3m; Andrea Del Sarto's Portrait of a Man estimated at $2m - $3m; A Still life of fraises-de-bois by Adriaen Coorte estimated at $1.5m - $2m; Nicolas de Largillierre's portrait of a Lady as Pomona estimated at $1m - $1.5m; Pieter van Mol's Diogenes with his lantern looking for an honest man estimated at $2m - $3m and Jacobus Vrel's Old Woman Seated with a Young Girl estimated at $300k - $500k (pictured). 

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With 57 lots in the evening sale alone, this auction might well be one to watch.

Christie's £10.41m vs. Sotheby's £18.86m

December 10 2021

Image of Christie's £10.41m vs. Sotheby's £18.86m

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

This week saw the major Old Master Paintings sales in London.

Christie's Evening Sale on Tuesday realised £10.41m (all figures inc. commission) with roughly 70.22% of lots sold.*

The two lots that soared away in the Christie's sale were Peter Brueghel the Younger's Massacre of the Innocents which realised £2,422,500 (all amounts inc. commission) over its £1m - £1.5m estimate and a Florentine School c.1500 tondo (pictured) which made £500,000 over its £80k - £120k estimate.

Sotheby's Evening Sale on Wednesday realised £18.86m with roughly 81.82% of lots sold.**

Van Dyck's two portraits of Jacob de Witte and Maria Nutius managed to hit the top end of their estimate by achieving £6,172,800 over their £4m - £6m estimate. Quite a few of the Sotheby's pictures that sold managed to break through their high estimates, including Rubens's The Abduction of Ganymede which realised 716,800 over its £300k - £400k estimate; Turner's Cilgerran Castle which realised £1,043,500 over its £300k - £500k estimate; A marine by Constable which realised £813,600 over its £200k - £300k estimate and one of a pair of Boucher and Studio scenes which realised £195,300 over its £60k - £80k estimate.

The standout picture of the day sale, the aforementioned Portrait of an Old Man 'Attributed to Frans Hals', smashed through its estimate of £80k - £120k to realise £1,951,000.

Perhaps the most disappointing results were the two major Constables of Salisbury Cathedral and the rediscovered Glebe Farm that failed to find buyers. This was despite the large amount of press both pictures received in the press.

The Art Newspaper run a piece on the sales with the title that 'There are too many auctions and not enough collectors.' The articles places the blame on sluggish sales on the lack of supply of good pictures, the rising infection rate and the difficulties encountered due to Britain leaving the EU.

* - This amount is calculated by missing lot numbers.

 ** - This % does not include 3 missing lot numbers.

Drawing of Velázquez's Funeral (?) up for Sale

December 6 2021

Image of Drawing of Velázquez's Funeral (?) up for Sale

Picture: abalartesubastas.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Spanish Press (spotted via. @Boro_RR) have shared news of a curious drawing of Diego Velázquez's funeral that is coming up for sale at auction in Spain. The work on paper was created by Antonio González Velázquez (1723-1793), no relation, 112 years after Diego Velázquez's death in 1660. It is not clear whether the drawing is a copy of some source, since lost, or is just a work of pure imagination. The bidding for the 'unique' drawing will start at €25,000.

A forgotten Bernini (?) Withdrawn from Sale?

November 29 2021

Image of A forgotten Bernini (?) Withdrawn from Sale?

Picture: arsmagazine.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Spanish arsmagazine.com have published an article on news that the gilded bronze above representing The Ganges River was withdrawn from auction last week.

The auction house La Suite in Barcelona had removed the bronze from sale just an hour before it was due to start. Further information has emerged that a government ministry had placed an export ban on the item so that more time could be spent on research.

The bronze has been connected to a small scale sculptural fountain produced by Lorenzo Bernini for Pope Innocent X. This sculpture survives in an altered state in the Patrimonio Nacional without the figures that once adorned it.

Versailles Acquires Marie-Antoinette from Auction

November 26 2021

Image of Versailles Acquires Marie-Antoinette from Auction

Picture: Aguttes

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from France that the Palace of Versailles have stepped in to acquire Joseph-Siffred Duplessis's Portrait of Marie-Antoinette. The portrait sold at Aguttes auction house yesterday for €175,500 (inc. commission) over its €20k - €30k estimate.

Unrecorded Lawrence to lead Bonhams December Sale

November 24 2021

Image of Unrecorded Lawrence to lead Bonhams December Sale

Picture: Bonhams

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Bonhams London have uploaded their upcoming December Old Master Paintings sale online. The sale will be held on 8th December 2021.

Their top lot is a previously unrecorded portrait by Thomas Lawrence, depicting Jane Allnutt with her pet spaniel. The artist is known to have painted several members of the Allnutt family, who made their fortune in selling wine and brandy.

The Lawrence will be sold on 8th December carrying an estimate of £150k - £250k.

Tudor Portrait Realises $120k

November 22 2021

Image of Tudor Portrait Realises $120k

Picture: Butterscotch Auctions

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The aforementioned Tudor Portrait realised $120,000 over its $5k - $10k estimate yesterday afternoon at Butterscotch Auctions. J Stephan Edwards has revealed the painting was purchased by an individual American collector.

Bendor adds; I was interested to see this before the sale and ordered some high-res photos, which were revealing. In the end, I wondered if it is actually Tudor. Some things puzzled me, like the technnique in the hands, the drying cracks in the face, the overly 'sweet' characterisation, and the apparent lack of the usual style of gilding you'd expect to see in areas like the collar. I'd be interested to know of any dendrochronology tests the new owners do on the panel. The reason this matters is that the portrait has for a long time been held up as 'the original' of a portrait type which has been identified as a member of the Grey family, copies of which have been identified as Jane, the Nine Days Queen, or her sister Katherine, Countess of Hertford, or even Elizabeth I.

Sotheby's December Day Sale

November 22 2021

Image of Sotheby's December Day Sale

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Sotheby's London have uploaded their Old Masters Day sale. This online auction will run from 3rd - 9th December 2021.

As usual, there are many beautiful and interesting things up for sale. I won't spoil the fun by pointing any out in particular. However, who cannot not admire this fine portrait of an Old Man attributed to Frans Hals (pictured) from the collection of Greystoke Castle, Penrith, Cumbria.

Rediscovered Constable Study at Sotheby's

November 22 2021

Image of Rediscovered Constable Study at Sotheby's

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

It seems that this season's Old Masters sales will truly be the battle of the Constables.

Now that Sotheby's have uploaded their full catalogue note for Constable's study for Glebe Farm, one is able to appreciate what an interesting rediscovery the picture is. The provenance is particularly curious and raises the question of how such a notable picture could have been forgotten within such a short period of time. Despite having been publicly exhibited and passed through the hands through the likes of Arthur Tooth & Sons, the painting had been sold in October last year as 'After Constable' in a regional auction house in the US.

Probably the artist’s studio sale, London, Fosters, 15–16 May 1838, lot 13 (one of two in the lot, together with a ‘Salisbury Cathedral’), to Carpenter; Probably William Hookham Carpenter (1792–1866);  Probably his sale, London, Christie’s, 16 February 1867, lot 79, to Joseph Hogarth for £91 (a high price, suggesting a study of some importance);  With Arthur Tooth & Sons, London, circa, 1917;  Edward William Edwards (1874–1956), Cincinnati, by 1922;  By descent to his grandson, Thomas Edwards Davidson (1928–1994);  Thence by descent until sold, Cincinnati, Cowan’s Auctions, 2 October 2020, lot 3 (as after John Constable), where acquired by the present owner.

Furthermore, the auction house have also uploaded a full technical analysis undertaken by Sarah Cove, an interesting text which is worth reading too.

Christie's December Online Sale

November 19 2021

Image of Christie's December Online Sale

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Christie's London have uploaded their December Online Sale of Old Master Paintings and Sculpture. This online only sale, the equivalent of the old 'day sale', will run until 8th December 2021.

As usual, there are many fascinating lots to browe through. I won't spoil the fun by pointing any out in particular.

Sotheby's December Evening Sale

November 19 2021

Image of Sotheby's December Evening Sale

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Sotheby's London have uploaded the online catalogue for their upcoming Old Master Paintings Sale on 8th December 2021.

Amongst the top lots are two portraits by Van Dyck of Jacob de Witte and Maria Nutius estimated at £4m - £6m (pictured); John Constable's Glebe Farm estimated at £3m - £5m; a still life by Rachel Ruysch estimated at £1.2m - £1.8m; a set of the Four Seasons by Sebastiaan Vrancx estimated at £600k - £800k; a Lucas Cranach the Elder of the Infant Christ and John the Baptist estimated at £550k - £700k; a Crucifixion by the Master of Charles of Durazzo estimated at £400k - £600k and JMW Turner's Cilgerran Castle, Wales estimated at £300k - £500k.

Macklowe Collection Realises $676m

November 16 2021

Image of Macklowe Collection Realises $676m

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

It seems that all's well at the top end of the art market.

Sotheby's New York's Macklowe Collection sale of Modern and Contemporary Art realised an eye watering $676m (inc. commission) yesterday evening. The sale was instigated by the divorce of collector Harry Macklowe and his museum trustee ex-wife Linda.

Press reports have heralded the sale as the greatest test for the high-end art market since the beginning of the pandemic. In fact, the sale passed the test with flying colours as each of the 35 lots in the evening sale were sold. The top lot was Rothko's No. 7 (1951) which realised $82.5m (inc. commission).

Deaccessioned (?) Tudor Portrait Interest

November 16 2021

Image of Deaccessioned (?) Tudor Portrait Interest

Picture: Butterscotch Auctions

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Twitter is awash with Tudor fans excited about the reappearance of a Portrait of a Lady catalogued as 'Anglo-Dutch School 17th Century - Mary Queen of Scots'. Auction watcher Francis Mouton has already pointed out that the portrait is not that of Mary, but, perhaps a member of the family of Lady Jane Grey. Furthermore, the painting may have been owned by John Pierpont Morgan and was later deaccessioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1954.

The painting will be sold at Butterscotch Auctions, NY, on 21st November 2021 carrying an estimate of $5,000 - $10,000. 

Christie's December Evening Sale

November 15 2021

Image of Christie's December Evening Sale

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Christie's London have uploaded the online catalogue for their upcoming December Old Master Paintings Evening sale. The auction will take place on 7th December 2021.

Amongst the top lots are Constable's sketch of Salisbury Cathedral estimated at £2m - £3m; Valentin de Boulogne's The Dream of Saint Joseph estimated at £1.2m - £1.8m; El Greco's Portrait of a Man estimated at £800k - £1.2m; a Massacre of the Innocents by Pieter Brueghel the Younger estimated at £1m - £1.5m; a church interior by Emanuel de Witte estimated at £500k - £800k and a charming group portrait of the Nugent Family by Johann Zoffany estimated at £800k - £1.2m.

Amongst the more interesting resurfaced pictures is this portrait by Thomas Gainsborough possibly depicting the composer Antonín Kammel (1730–1784 or 1785). Regular readers might remember that the story of this painting was published in the press back in April having been purchased at a French auction for £2,500. The work will now be sold by Christie's carrying an estimate of £70k - £100k.

Cox Collection Achieves $332m

November 12 2021

Image of Cox Collection Achieves $332m

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Christie's New York's sale of The Cox Collection achieved a very impressive $332,031,500 last night.

Many of the impressionist and post impressionist masterpieces on offer soared past their estimates. The pictured Monet realised $6,270,000 (all prices inc. commission) over its $700k - $1m estimate; Van Gogh's Young Boy realised $46,732,500 over its $5m - $7m estimate; a Degas dancer realised $1,950,00 over its $500k - $800k estimate; and a Pissaro landscape of Rouen achieved $2,010,000 over its $600k - $900k estimate. Important and impressive landscapes met or exceeded their estimates, including those by the likes of Cezanne which achieved $55,320,00, and two by Van Gogh which realised $35,855,000 and $71,350,000 respectively. The most anticipated lot, Gustave Caillebotte's Young Man at a Window, achieved $53,030,000.

Update - There are rumours on Twitter (via. @artdetective) that The Getty Museum was the buyer of Caillebotte's Young Man.

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