Category: Auctions

Sleeper Alert!

September 24 2021

Image of Sleeper Alert!

Picture: Weschler's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News on Twitter (via. @auctionradar) that the following 'Manner of Rembrandt' realised $225,000 (hammer price) over its $1k estimate at Weschler's in Maryland. One imagines the new owner is hoping that their new purchase is this very picture that appeared in a Rembrandt catalogue raisonné during the early twentieth-century.

Sleeper Alert!

September 23 2021

Image of Sleeper Alert!

Picture: Wannenes

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News on Twitter earlier this week from @auctionradar that the above XVII Century Allegory of Prudence achieved €220,000 (hammer price) over its €2k - €3k estimate at Wannenes auctions in Italy.

Christie's NY October Sale

September 23 2021

Image of Christie's NY October Sale

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Christie's New York have uploaded their October Old Master Paintings & Sculpture sale online. The auction will be held on 14th October 2021.

Amongst the top lots are an Annunciation by Annibale Carracci estimated at $3m - $5m; a rather haunting Fuseli estimated at $3m - $5m; a portrait of a youth by Giuliano Bugiardini estimated at $1.2m - $1.8m; a Christ Crowned with Thorns by Orazio Gentileschi estimated at $800k - $1.2m; a fine Roelandt Savery of Animals Leaving Noah's Arc estimated at $800k - $1.5m; a triptych by the Master of the Wallraf Triptych estimated at $1m - $2m; and a pair of rediscovered studies by Jacob Jordaens (pictured) estimated at $60k - $100k each.

Feigen Sale at Sotheby's NY

September 17 2021

Image of Feigen Sale at Sotheby's NY

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Sotheby's New York have uploaded their upcoming sale Collector, Dealer, Connoisseur: The Vision of Richard L. Feigen online. The sale will be held on 18th October 2021.

As to be expected, there are many fine pictures on offer. The top lot is Richard Parkes Bonington's The Palazzi Manolesso-Ferro, Contarini-Fasan and Venier-Contarini on the Grand Canal, Venice, estimated at $2m - $3m; followed by a Lorenzo Monaco of the Prophet Jeremiah estimate at $600k - $800k; an Annibale Carracci Landscape estimated at $400k - $600k; and a Holy Family with St John the Baptist, retitled the 'Feigen Adoration', by Beccafumi estimated at $300k - $500k.

There are a nice selection of British paintings too, including a Gainsborough Portrait, a Gainsborough Landscape, a rare Landscape by Thomas Lawrence, and an Italian landscape by Richard Wilson. However, it is the Boningtons that seem to steal the show where British works are concerned.

I should also mention that there are a few paintings by Max Beckman included within the sale, the top lot being A Portrait of a Turk estimated at $2m - $3m.

Oppenheimer Collection Soars

September 15 2021

Image of Oppenheimer Collection Soars

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

It seems that there were some extremely promising results for the decorative arts market yesterday. Sotheby's New York's Oppenheimer sale of Important Meissen soared past its pre-sale estimates to achieve $15,039,540 (inc. fees). Many of the lots doubled, tripled or quadrupled their estimates in this 'white-glove' sale.

Richard Feigen's Old Masters at Sotheby's

September 13 2021

Image of Richard Feigen's Old Masters at Sotheby's

Picture: artnews.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Sotheby's New York have announced that they will be offering a sale of Old Master Paintings from the collection of the late dealer Richard L Feigen in October. The sale will consist of more than 50 paintings and works on paper and in total carries a pre-sale estimate of between $11.5 million–$17 million.

According to the article linked above:

Highlights from the collection include Richard Parkes Bonington’s painting of the Grand Canal in Venice, The Palazzo Manolesso, which is expected to fetch $2 million–$3 million. Annibale Carracci’s biblical scene The Return From The Flight Into Egypt is estimated at $400,000–$600,000. 

Works by Italian artists Domencio Beccafumi, Lorenzo Monaco, Allegretto Nuzi, and Spinello Aretino will also be offered. Beccafumi will be represented in the sale by an arched canvas from the 14th century depicting the Madonna and Saint Joseph with Jesus as an infant. It is estimated at $300,00–$500,000.

€5m Chardin coming up at Christie's

September 13 2021

Image of €5m Chardin coming up at Christie's

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Christie's Paris have announced that they will be offering an important and 'untouched' Chardin in their November sale. Experts at the auction house believe their version of Woman Drawing Water from a Water Urn to be the first presented by Chardin at the 1747 salon. It was purchased in 1848 by the French collector François Marcille (1790-1856) and has been in a private collection ever since.

The painting will be offered for sale on 22nd November carrying an estimate of €5m - €8m.

Shredded Banksy Back on the Block

September 6 2021

Image of Shredded Banksy Back on the Block

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Interesting news emerged last week that Sotheby's will be re-auctioning Banksy's Love in the Bin in October. Famously, the work was shredded during a live auction in 2018 just after it was sold for £1,042,000. The work will now reappear with an estimate of £4m - £6m.

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The 2018 gimmick caused quite the stir back in the day. Let's wait and see if the hype has been sustained over these past three years.

'Lost' Canaletto Discovered in East Sussex Home

August 18 2021

Image of 'Lost' Canaletto Discovered in East Sussex Home

Picture: Gorringes

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The UK press have published news from the Auction House Gorringes that a 'lost' Canaletto of the Dogana da Mar in Venice has been discovered in a house in East Sussex. The painting emerged during a valuation undertaken by specialists from the auction house.

According to the article:

The back of the canvas is inscribed with the name of Auguste Chatelain, a 19th century Swiss psychiatrist and historian who is known to have owned at least one other similar work by Canaletto. 

It also has a label on the reverse for the Mayfair art dealer Arthur Tooth and Sons, where the late owner's mother originally bought the painting 101 years ago.

Although the owners are said to have known the work was by Canaletto, the painting seems to have been kept in private hands for a century.

The painting will be put up for sale on 28th September 2021 with an estimate of around £150,000.

Sotheby's to Auction Off 11 Picassos from Las Vegas Hotel

August 16 2021

Image of Sotheby's to Auction Off 11 Picassos from Las Vegas Hotel

Picture: CNN

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Interesting news from the US that Sotheby's will be auctioning off 11 Picassos from the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. Famously, these art works were collected by the hotel's eccentric founder Steve Wynn. It is believed that around $70m - $100m will be raised to allow the hotel to expand its contemporary art collection. Furthermore, reports have suggested that the auction will take place in the casino itself.

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One wonders whether the new collection will consist entirely of screens displaying NFTs?

Opie's Reynolds Doubles Low-Estimate

August 13 2021

Image of Opie's Reynolds Doubles Low-Estimate

Picture: Woolley and Wallis

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Auctioneers Woolley and Wallis in Salisbury sold this Laughing Girl by Sir Joshua Reynolds yesterday for £37,000 (hammer price) over its £15k - £20k estimate. The painting was rediscovered by specialists in a private collection, whose owners had thought that the work was a mere copy. Furthermore, they were unaware of the painting's illustrious provenance. Reynolds had created the work for the Polygraphic Society in 1787. It was eventually purchased by the artist John Opie and later came into the collection of the Earls of Lonsdale. The last time the work was displayed in public was in 1937.

Christie's to sell $200m Cox Collection

July 29 2021

Image of Christie's to sell $200m Cox Collection

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Christie's has announced that it will be selling twenty-five masterpieces from the collection of businessman, collector, and philanthropist Edwin Lochridge Cox. This will include several pieces by significant Impressionist artists including works by Van Gogh and Cézanne. Understandably, one of the standout pieces of the sale will be Gustave Caillebotte's Jeune homme à sa fenêtre (pictured) which is rumoured to carry an estimate of $50m. The whole sale is believed to carry a pre-sale estimate of around $200m.

The sales will be held in November and December 2021.

Frans Hals Museum acquires Picture from Christie's Sale

July 13 2021

Image of Frans Hals Museum acquires Picture from Christie's Sale

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

CODART (International network of curators of Dutch and Flemish art) have announced that the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem have acquired A Festival Company in a Renaissance Room by Dirck Hals and Dirck van Delen. The painting came up for sale in Christie's evening sale last week and realised £742,500 (inc. fees). The picture was acquired with the help of the Rembrandt Association, Mondriaan Fund, National Acquisition Fund, Van Toorn Scholten Foundation, BankGiro Lottery, Fonds Marjon Ornstein, Friends of the Frans Hals Museum Association and a private Frans Hals Museum fund.

According to the press release:

The Frans Hals Museum has three other ‘merry company’ pieces by Dirck Hals in its collection (one of which was on long-term loan from the Cultural Heritage Agency [RCE]). This latest acquisition enables the museum to show how Dirck Hals’ fame transcended Haarlem city limits during his own lifetime, with artists far and wide queuing up to work with him. The painting will be on display in the Haarlem Heroes. Other Masters exhibition from mid-September. It has been on view in the Frans Hals Museum earlier, when it was on loan from the RCE between 1948 and 2019. In 2019, restitution was made to the heirs of Jacob Lierens (1877-1949), a Jewish businessman and art collector from Amsterdam. In 1941, the latter sold the painting at auction, before his company was ‘Aryanized’ by the Nazis, and he and his wife were interned in transit camp Westerbork.

Another Mona Lisa Copy Soars...

July 8 2021

Image of Another Mona Lisa Copy Soars...

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Another copy of the Mona Lisa, probably barely one hundred years old, soared past its estimate in the Sotheby's day sale today. The picture, c.1900, realised £378,000 (inc. fees) over its £8k - £12k estimate.

This price seems like madness, especially compared to this genuinely beautiful seventeenth century copy of a Leonardo in the Louvre that made £94,500 (inc. fees) in the same sale.

As it happens, a reader has been in touch with a screen shot of the same copy of the Mona Lisa which was up for sale on Ebay in January 2021 which sold for over £2,000:

Update - Apologies for missing this, it seems that this copy that sold on Ebay was the very same one in the Sotheby's sale. A reader has pointed out the corresponding imperfections visible on the backs of both canvases.

Leonardo Bear makes £7.5m Hammer

July 8 2021

Image of Leonardo Bear makes £7.5m Hammer

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Leonardo's drawing of a Bear came in just under its £8m - £12m estimate today and hammered down at £7.5m. The total including fees adds up to £8,857,500. This was a little less than expected, especially considering the enormous amount of media coverage the work generated. We'll wait and see if it ends up anywhere interesting...

Christie's Results

July 8 2021

Image of Christie's Results

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Tonight’s Old Master Paintings Evening sale at Christie’s brought in a total of £44,520,740 with 75% of lots sold.

The top lot of the sale was Bellotto’s View of Verona came in just under its estimate to realise £10,575,000 (all figures include fees) against its £12m - £18m estimate. Other highlights included Frans van Mieris's Music Lesson which made £3,502,500 over its £700k - £1m estimate; A head study by Rubens which realised £982,500 over its £250k - £350k estimate; a head study by Van Dyck which realised £225,000 over its £70k - £100k estimate; Artemisia Gentileschi’s Venus and Cupid made £2,442,500 over its £800k - £1.2m estimate; Ferdinand Bol’s portrait of a Lady made £1,198,500 over its £400k – £600k estimate; Michaelina Wautier’s head of a boy made £400,000 over its £60k - £80k estimate; and Romney’s group portrait of Dorothy Stables made £742,500 over its £300k - £500k estimate.

One of the most dramatic moments of the evening was the withdrawal of the Duke of Grafton’s Van Dyck portrait of the Earl of Strafford. It is quite surprising if it didn’t generate enough interest, as this is a beautifully painted picture with an illustrious provenance.

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Comparing results, it seems that Christie’s managed to scoop the most commercially attractive pictures this season. Looking at the lots that didn’t sell at both auction houses, one might suggest that Netherlandish landscapes are having a rather tough time at the moment. This might have been a feature of these particular sales, as there were quite a few on offer at the same time.

One also wonders if and how the UK’s new relationship with the EU has affected results. I’m certain the business managers at both auction houses are making investigations into this question as we speak. However, the strong results we did witness shows that London’s leading position for Old Masters in Europe is by no means over.

Van Dyck Copy makes £862k

July 8 2021

Image of Van Dyck Copy makes £862k

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Here's a result that has us stumped. This copy of Van Dyck's portrait of Charles I, a bust version of an original preserved in Arundel Castle, realised £862,000 (inc. fees) over its £6k - £8k estimate in the Sotheby's London Day Sale today. Nothing here suggests we're looking at an autograph work, it might be argued. Has someone been able to identify the copyist perhaps? Most curious indeed.

Sotheby's Results

July 7 2021

Image of Sotheby's Results

Picture: Sotheby’s

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Sotheby’s Old Master Paintings Evening sale in London seemed to have had a relatively tough night bringing in a total of £17,208,300 (inc. fees) with 57.1% of lots sold.

As usual, the lots that did sell achieved impressive prices. Some of the highlights (all including fees) included Van Dyck’s Family of Cornelis de Vos which realised £2,435,000 over its £1m - £1.5m estimate, a Follower of Cranach Venus made £201,600 over its £60k – £80k estimate; a painting of a Jester attributed to Massys made £523,200 over its £40k – £60k estimate; an Isenbrant Crucifixion made £644,200 over its £200k - £300k estimate. Turner's seascape of Purfleet helped save the day by hitting its low estimate (hammer) and bringing in £4,794,000 (with fees), which represented 27.8% of the total realised by the entire sale.

It was noticeable that many of the Northern landscapes and still lifes from the Schuybroek Collection, mostly purchased at auctions during the 1970s and 80s, failed to find buyers.

All eyes on Christie’s sale tomorrow.

Andrew Graham Dixon on Christie's Leonardo Bear

July 2 2021

Video: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

After television art historian Andrew Graham Dixon's successful video with Sotheby's last year, it seems that Christie's has now asked him to have a look at the upcoming drawing of a Bear's Head by Leonardo da Vinci.

Members of the public who want to see the drawing, between 3 - 8 July, will have to book in advance to do so.

Turner's Seascape Brought to Life

July 1 2021

Video: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The battle between which auction house can create the most immersive sweeping view video continues.

Sotheby's have released the following film giving an evocative representation of Turner's Purfleet and the Essex Shore as seen from Long Reach. The painting will feature within their evening sale on 7th July 2021 carrying an estimate of £4m - £6m.

Will these sorts of presentations become a staple of the summer and winter sales? 

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