Category: Auctions

The Hood Museum's Portrait of Madame Aignan de Sanlot

July 12 2024

Image of The Hood Museum's Portrait of Madame Aignan de Sanlot

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

One story that seemed to escape the art press in 2022 (as far as I can tell) was The Hood Museum of Art's acquisition of Elisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun's Portrait of Madame Aignan de Sanlot. The work was sold at Sotheby's Paris in 2022 where it made €85,650 over its €25k - €35k estimate. Curator Elizabeth Rice Mattison has had an article published on the pastel in the most recent issue of Notes in the History of Art in case you'd like to read more.

Sleeper Alert!

July 12 2024

Image of Sleeper Alert!

Picture: Mallams

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Social media was awash with speculation a few days ago regarding the following painting catalogued as 'Circle of Guido Reni (1575-1642) - St Agnes'. The picture realised £80,000 (hammer) over its £2k - £3k estimate at Mallams on Wednesday.

Museum Hof van Busleyden acquires Margaret of Austria Portrait

July 10 2024

Image of Museum Hof van Busleyden acquires Margaret of Austria Portrait

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Museum Hof van Busleyden in Mechelen have announced their acquisition of a portrait of Margaret of Austria by the Workshop of Bernard van Orley. The painting was acquired at Sotheby's London's recent Day Sale where it made £45,600 over its £5k - £7k estimate.

Queen Victoria's Drawings coming up at Roseberys

July 9 2024

Image of Queen Victoria's Drawings coming up at Roseberys

Picture: Roseberys

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Artnet.com have published a short article on news that Roseberys will be selling a cache of drawings by Queen Victoria next week. The group, which were completed during Victoria's teenage years, are believed to have descended with her drawing instructor George Hayter's family.

Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Foligno acquire Giovanni di Corraduccio

July 9 2024

Image of Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Foligno acquire Giovanni di Corraduccio

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Foligno in Italy have announced their acquisition of a triptych by Giovanni di Corraduccio. The work was acquired from the recent Evening Auction at Sotheby's London where it sold for £348,000 (inc. fees) over its £200k - £300k estimate. The foundation expressed that it is committed to to the recovery, protection and enhancement of the local historical and artistic heritage of Foligno in Perugia and the work will soon go on display at the Palazzo Cattani.

Versailles pre-empt Portrait of Sculptor Antoine-Denis Chaudet

July 8 2024

Image of Versailles pre-empt Portrait of Sculptor Antoine-Denis Chaudet

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

La Gazette Drouot have published news that the Palace of Versailles has pre-empted Jean-Baptiste Frédéric Desmarais's Portrait of the Sculptor Antoine-Denis Chaudet. The painting had sold at Sotheby's Paris earlier in June where it realised €156,000 over its €80k - €120k estimate.

National Galleries of Scotland acquire Bessie MacNicol

July 4 2024

Image of National Galleries of Scotland acquire Bessie MacNicol

Picture: National Galleries of Scotland

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Galleries of Scotland acquired Bessie MacNicol's The Lilac Sunbonnet earlier in June. The picture had sold at Lyon & Turnbull in December 2023 for £55,201 and was acquired with funds from the Cowan Smith, MacDougall and Treaty of Union Bequests, 2024.

According to the gallery's website:

This bright image of a young fieldworker leaning on a hayfork showcases MacNicol’s confident use of oil paint. Her deft, sweeping brushstrokes skilfully capture the play of dappled sunlight. Born in Glasgow, MacNicol studied at the city’s School of Art and later in Paris. She exhibited widely in the UK and in mainland Europe. From the 1890s onwards she also sent her paintings to be shown in Pittsburgh and St Louis in the USA. MacNicol died tragically young, aged only 34, due to late-stage complications in her first pregnancy.

Sotheby's London Evening Sale

July 3 2024

Image of Sotheby's London Evening Sale

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Sotheby's London Old Master & 19th Century Paintings Evening Auction realised a total of £12,366,000 (inc. fees) with 81.25% of lots sold / 76.48% including withdrawn lots.

As far as the website indicated, the Botticelli (pictured), Eustache Le Sueur, Vanvitellis and Corot all had irrevocable bids.

Here are my live posts on the top lots of the sale:

Update - And we're off. Lots 14 (pair of Canalettos) and 27 (Wright of Derby) have been withdrawn.

Update 2 - A good start, Lots 1 & 2 have performed well.

Update 3 - The Met de Bles and Rubens landscape failed to find a winning bid with its £600k - £800k estimate.

Update 4 - The Botticelli and Studio Virgin and Child hammered down at £2,850,000 with Alex Bell on the phone over its £3m - £5m estimate. This is £3,420,000 including fees.

Update 5 - Jacques Jordaens' Head of a Girl hammers down at £300,000 over its £150,000 - £200,000 estimate. This is £360,000 including fees.

Update 6 - The trio of views by Vanvitelli and Bellotto break past their low estimates and sell, as do the large Tiepolos.

Update 7 - British pictures haven't had much luck until David Roberts' Venetian view which hammered down at £330,000 to a bidder in the room over its £60k - £80k estimate. This is £396,000 including fees.

___________________

This season's results indicate that both auction houses have equalled each other in pricing strategies to help sell more pictures. For example, the London Old Master departments at both Sotheby's and Christie's have sold near to 20% more of their paintings offered than their New York counterparts managed to in January. This is surely good for both their clients and the market as a whole.

When it comes to values (£43.59m at Christie's compared to £12.36m at Sotheby's), there was one clear winner. This is of course helped by the appearance of several top tier works from British aristocratic collections, coupled with an important rediscovery (one which warranted a Getty acquisition) and several 'fresh to market' lots which soared past their estimates. It could be argued that Sotheby's had a more varied offering, however, this current market appears to be driven by new and fresh consignments which haven't appeared at sale in the past 15 years or so. After Christie's recent wins in both Paris and London, we'll have to wait and see what happens in the ever-buoyant New York sales in November 2024 and January 2025.

From Christie's London to Getty Museum

July 2 2024

Video: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles have just announced their acquisition of the rediscovered Madonna of the Cherries by Quentin Metsys which sold at Christie's London this evening for £10,660,000 (inc. fees). 

According to the museum's press release:

“The tender beauty and accessibility of Metsys’ representation of the familial bond between the Virgin Mary and Christ Child represents a major innovation in early Netherlandish painting that greatly heightens the emotional impact of the image,” says Timothy Potts, Maria Hummer-Tuttle and Robert Tuttle Director of the Getty Museum. “Painted at the height of his career, and preserved today in excellent condition, Madonna of the Cherries is among Metsys’ most appealing and influential compositions. Acknowledged as a masterpiece in its day, the painting became especially famous in the 17th century, after which its whereabouts were lost. I have no doubt that its spiritual and artistic resonance will make it one of the most beloved works in our collection.”

Longleat Titian makes £15m Hammer

July 2 2024

Image of Longleat Titian makes £15m Hammer

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Christie's London Old Masters Part I sale realised a total of £43,594,800*  (including fees) with 83.4% of lots sold / 74.1% including withdrawn lots.

Impressively, the top two lots, the Titian and the rediscovered Quentin Metsys had third-party guarantees. So too did the Master of the Monte Oliveto Madonna and Child and the Bonington Venetian picture.

Here's my live posting of the sale, which includes the hammer prices made by the top lots:

Update - And we're off! It was announced that Lots 18 (Roelant Savery), 19 (Jan Lievens) and 27 (View of Jerusalem) have been withdrawn.

Update 2 - Lot 1 soars to £280,000 over its £100k - $150k estimate. A good start.

Update 3 - All lots have broken their top estimates thus far. Lot 3, the early Portrait of Elizabeth I, hammered down at £720,000 over its £300k - £500k estimate.

Update 4 - Lot 4, the rediscovered Quentin Metsys, hammered down at £9m over its £8m - £12m estimate in the end. Remeber, this picture sold at £254,500 in 2015 as 'Studio of'. The painting sold to a bidder in the room, it seems.

Update 5 - Lot 8, the Longleat Titian, hammered down at £15m over its estimate of £15m - £25m. Bidding opened at £12.5m, rose quickly to £15m and stayed there until the hammer was brought down with Andrew Fletcher on the phone. The total is £17,560,000 with fees.

Update 6 - The first BI (bought in picture) of the sale, Lot 13 the Van der Ast still life.

Update 7 - The Earl of Cowdray's Frans Hals hammers down at £4.7m to Andrew Fletcher on the phone over its £4m - £6m estimate. It appears that there was a bidder in the room giving 'signs' to the auctioneer (Henry Pettifer) that weren't quite understood! A very dirty picture, which will look transformed once cleaned, certainly.

Update 8 - The monumental George Stubbs horses in a landscape failed to reach its reserve and didn't find a winning bid with its £7m - £10m estimate.

__________

* - This total was at £51m last night, I'm not sure why it has been so dramatically reduced in the past 24 hours.

Summer Sale Season is here!

June 28 2024

Image of Summer Sale Season is here!

Picture: Philip Mould & Co. via AB

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Summer Sale Season and London Art Week is finally here! Forgive me if I've been a little quiet these past days but now is the prime opportunity to attend all the exciting views and events this next week and a bit has to offer. Both auction houses will be opening their views today, and London Art Week has pulled together some of the city's top dealers many of which are running exhibitions (Click here to see the full list of those involved). This is not to mention the aforementioned The Treasure House Fair (above is a picture I took yesterday from PM's stand) and side-exhibitions like Trois Crayons. If you can't attend, then lots of information and catalogue notes can be found online via the links above.

I'll resume next week with more pictures and thoughts as and when they appear.

Sotheby's London Day Sale

June 13 2024

Image of Sotheby's London Day Sale

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Sotheby's London Old Master Paintings & Works on Paper Day Auction has been published online. Bidding for this online sale will close on 4th July 2024.

As usual with the day sales, I won't spoil the fun by pointing out the most interesting lots on this occasion.

Sotheby's London Evening Sale

June 12 2024

Image of Sotheby's London Evening Sale

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Sotheby's London have published their upcoming Old Master & 19th Century Paintings Evening Auction online.

Amongst the highlights of the sale are a Virgin and Child by Botticelli and Studio estimated at £3m - £5m, a pair of Venetian scenes by Canaletto estimated at £2.5m - £3.5m, a sex of six enormous frescos (transferred to canvas) by Giandomenico Tiepolo estimated at £1.5m - £2.5m, a rediscovered Herri met de Bles landscape with figures altered by Rubens (pictured) estimated at £600,000 - £800,000, and two very interesting colonial scenes by Agostino Brunias (1) (2) estimated at £200,000 - £300,000 each.

The sale will take place on 3rd July 2024.

Chardin's Melon makes €23m hammer!

June 12 2024

Video: B Smart

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Chardin's Le Melon entamé (est. €8m - €12m and without a third party guarantee it seems) will be coming up for sale at Christie's Paris in the next few hours. You should be able to watch live via the website.

Update - The painting sold for €23m hammer. That is €26.73m including fees. The price jumped at one point (via a bid from someone on the phone) straight from €18m to €20m, and then the same bidder later stepped it up from €21.5 to €23m - it doesn't get more exciting than that in our corner of the art world! This is several million more than the €24.4m (inc. fees) for the Louvre's recently acquired Strawberries.

A very good price for the Old Master market, congratulations to all those involved! Just shows that there is still lots of life in 18th century pictures.

Update 2 - Here are some of the records presented in the Christie's press release [ALL IN CAPITALS]:

ACQUIRED BY A EUROPEAN COLLECTOR 

THE MOST EXPENSIVE OLD MASTER PAINTING SOLD IN FRANCE 

THE MOST EXPENSIVE 18th CENTURY FRENCH OLD MASTER PAINTING IN THE WORLD 

THE MOST EXPENSIVE WORK SOLD IN FRANCE IN 2024

Christie's Old Masters Part II

June 10 2024

Image of Christie's Old Masters Part II

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Christie's London have published their Old Masters Part II sale online. This auction will take place on 3rd July 2024.

As usual with the day sales, I won't spoil the fun by pointing out the most interesting lots on this occasion.

Bonhams July Sale

June 10 2024

Image of Bonhams July Sale

Picture: Bonhams

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Bonhams in London have uploaded their upcoming July Old Master Paintings sale. The auction will take place on 3rd July 2024.

As usual, I won't spoil the fun by pointing out what may or may not be interesting. Happy browsing!

Christie's London Old Masters Part I

June 7 2024

Image of Christie's London Old Masters Part I

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Christie's London have published their upcoming Old Masters Part I sale online. The sale will take place on 2nd July 2024.

Amongst the highlights are the aforementioned Longleat Titian (which already has a Third party guarantee), rediscovered Quentin Metsys, the large George Stubbs, and Viscount Cowdray's Frans Hals. The combined low estimate of these four lots alone is a respectable £34,000,000.

Some other interesting pictures up for sale are a Venetian picture by Bonington at £2.5m - £3.5m, an erotic scene by Jan Lievens at £1.5m - £2m, a gold ground Madonna and Child by the Master of the Monte Olivieto at £800k - £1.2m, and this rather smart portrait of Queen Elizabeth I attributed to George Gower at £300k - £500k.

Sotheby's Paris Sale

June 3 2024

Image of Sotheby's Paris Sale

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Sotheby's Paris have uploaded their upcoming Tableaux et Dessins 1400–1900 auction online. This sale will take place on 19th June 2024.

Amongst the highlights are a Mourning Virgin and Christ Crowned with Thorns by the Studio of Albrecht Bouts, a pair of Capricci by Panini, a Venetian scene by Marieschi (pictured),  a classical scene by Sébastien Bourdon, and a very beautiful portrait of the sculptor Antoine-Denis Chaudet by Jean-Baptiste Frédéric Desmarais.

Sleeper Alert!

May 29 2024

Image of Sleeper Alert!

Picture: Campo & Campo

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Social media has been awash with news that this painting, catalogued as 'Portrait of a Sultan' realised a staggering €3m over its €2,000 - €4,000 estimate yesterday at Campo & Campo in Belgium. The painting, which appears to be Dutch and quite possibly 17th century, is actually thought to depict an Indian ruler rather than a Turkish one.

Christie's Paris Sale

May 24 2024

Image of Christie's Paris Sale

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Christie's Paris have uploaded their Maîtres Anciens : Peintures - Sculptures sale online. The auction will take place on 12th June 2024.

Among the top lots are Chardin's Le Melon entamé at €8m - €12m, a Watteau allegory of the alliance of music and comedy at €250k - €350k, an Abraham Mignon Still Life at €100k - €200k and a Head Study by Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson at €80k - €120k.

Notice to "Internet Explorer" Users

You are seeing this notice because you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 (or older version). IE6 is now a deprecated browser which this website no longer supports. To view the Art History News website, you can easily do so by downloading one of the following, freely available browsers:

Once you have upgraded your browser, you can return to this page using the new application, whereupon this notice will have been replaced by the full website and its content.