Colin Gleadell highlights the lots that drew the most bidders. He tells a funny tale of on Phillip Mould egging on another collector/dealer to drive a Gainsborough painting of a pug to nearly £1 million. But beyond that there were these price pops:
Old Master sales regularly produce prices far in excess of estimates as dealers pitch their knowledge against the salerooms. At Bonhams last week, an 18th-century view of the River Tiber was catalogued as a work of the minor artist Andrea Locatelli with a £150,000 estimate. Prior to the sale, however, it was recognised as a work by the more important Giuseppe Zocchi, which sent the price to a record £1.3 million. Also at Bonhams, a 17th-century portrait of a boy playing a lute by Jacob van Oost caught dealers’ attention and flew above the £50,000 estimate selling to New York’s French & Co for £624,500. At Christie’s, another 17th-century lute player, by an unknown Flemish artist, surprised the auctioneers who had estimated it at £30,000 when it sold for £445,250. The buyer, London dealer Mark Weiss, said he had positively identified the sitter as Nicholas Lanier, the Master of the King’s Musick and principal picture agent for Charles I.
Market News (Telegraph)