When you put together all of the various sales held this week in London you get a total of approximately £107m. Sotheby’s had £45.5m across all of their sales. Christie’s had £62m with the Jelgersma collection making £25m, the sale to benefit the Rugby School making £14.4m with the bulk of that coming from £11.4m paid for a Lucas van Leyden drawing.
Here’s Christie’s press release on the sales:
On the evening of 6 December, Old Masters at Christie’s realised a combined total of £42,241,000/ $53,730,552/ €47,352,161, selling 65% by lot with registered bidders from 29 countries across 4 continents. The Important Old Master Paintings from The Eric Albada Jelgersma Collection: Evening Sale achieved £21,389,250/ $27,207,126, selling 64% by lot; the Old Masters Evening Sale realised £20,851,750/ $26,523,426, selling 67% by lot.
A pair of portraits by Frans Hals Portrait of a gentleman, aged 37 and Portrait of a lady, aged 36, sold for £10,021,250 / $12,747,030 setting a new world record price for the artist at auction (estimate: £8-12 million).
Further highlights include arguably the most important Golden Age painting by a female artist left in private ownership, Merry Company by Judith Leyster, which was sold for £1,808,750/ $2,300,730 (estimate: £1,500,000-2,500,000), setting a new world record price for the artist at auction and selling for almost four times the previous record. The Collection Sale on 7 December was led by a rare Italian architectural model based closely on the Temple of Portunus which sold for £187,500/ $239,250 (estimate: £50,000 – 80,000).
Sotheby’s had this release on their sales:
Sotheby’s London sales concluded with a combined total of £45,566,613 / $58,084,687 / €51,240,012. Strong performances across five sales, including Old Master Paintings, Sculpture and a dedicated sale of portrait miniatures saw exceptional sell-through rates with totals exceeding their pre-sale estimates.
OLD MASTERS PAINTINGS, 5-6 December
- Together the Old Masters Evening and Day sales totalled £34,563,175 / $44,030,820 / €38,883,625
- Participants from 22 countries with strong bidding from new and traditional markets, particularly UK
- 85.7% sell-through rate achieved for the Evening sale – the highest achieved in the category in London, with 45% of lots selling above top estimates
- 4 auction records achieved in the Evening sale (The Master of the Aachen Altar, The Master of Saint Veronica, Jacob Isaacksz. van Ruisdael (record in sterling) and Erasmus Quellinus the Younger).
- The Evening sale presented fresh-to-the-market works with almost half of the lots offered having not appeared on the market for over 30 years
- Private collectors dominated bidding (75% vs. 25% dealer by lot) with two institutional purchases (Evening sale: Lot 6, Day sale: Lot 188)
- Over 7,250 people visited the pre-sale exhibition over 5 days
- Rare oil sketch by Rembrandt realised £9,480,800 ($12,080,435 / €10,665,921), over its estimate (lot 18, est. £6 – 8 million). Appearing on the market for the first time in 60 years, the touching portrait of Christ until recently hung in the artist’s house in Amsterdam. In preparation for display in the seminal exhibition “Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus” at the Louvre, Paris in 2011, the painting underwent extensive cleaning and conservation during which two fingerprints were found, presumably those of the artist himself.
- Royal portraits of King Charles I’s two eldest children by Sir Anthony van Dyck, among the last works painted by the artist, made £2,620,000 ($3,338,404) and £790,000 ($1,006,618) respectively (lots 29 and 30, est. £2-3m and £600,000-800,000). Depicting the eleven year-old Prince of Wales (later King Charles II), and his nine year-oldsister Mary (the mother of the future king, William III), the works were painted on the eve of the English Civil War and provide a penetrating likeness of the royal children at a time when their world, and the Stuart monarchy, was on the brink of collapse.
Strong performance for Dutch and Flemish art
Half of the works in the sale were by Dutch and Flemish artists
90% of them sold for a combined a total of £24,685,550 / $31,454,326, well above estimate (est. £16.8 -23.7m)
- Jacob Isaacksz. van Ruisdael’s A Harleempje: a panoramic view of Haarlem and the bleaching fields seen from the north-west realised £2,650,000 ($3,376,630) (lot 13, est. £1.5 – 2m). Celebrating the artist’s native city of Haarlem, this work established Ruisdael as the leading landscape painter of the Dutch Golden Age.
- One of the finest works by Jan van de Cappelle, A Calm Sea achieved £2,050,000($2,612,110) (lot 15, est. £1-1.5 million).
- One of Jan Brueghel the Elder’s earliest and most pioneering works, An extensive coastal landscape with fisherman landing and selling their catch, Jonah being cast overboard and offshore, 1595, achieved £1,990,000 ($2,535,658) (lot 11, est. £1.8 – 2.5m).
- Aert van der Neer’s Winter landscape with kolf players realised £1,210,000(1,541,782) (lot 38, est. £1-1.5m). The artist’s winter landscapes are by far his most prized and sought-after paintings
- A Winter landscape by Pieter Brueghel the Younger sold for £970,000 ($1,235,974) (lot 27, est. £700,000 – 900,000).
- A stunning depiction of Mary Magdalene reading by Ambrosius Benson rose to £730,000 ($930,166) (lot 1, est. £200,000-300,000)
Further highlights from the sale
- A beautiful and intensely personal triptych attributed to the Master of Saint Veronica, circa 1410 realised £1,570,000 ($2,000,494) (lot 6, est. £1.2-1.8m).
- The arresting and refined depiction of Christ by a close associate of Leonardo da Vinci in around 1510, soared to £874,000 ($1,113,651) (lot 4, est. £250,000 – 350,000).
Sotheby’s released its selection of the winner of their 2018 prize in support of curatorial endeavors. The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is the winner for a show on Black Cinema that opens almost a year from now. One value of the prize is the way in which it flags upcoming museum shows like the one in Cincinatti for the career or Robert Colescott or the Wallace Collection’s upcoming Henry Moore show:
Sotheby’s today announces the winner of the 2018 Sotheby’s Prize, which, in its second year, continues to celebrate curatorial excellence and champion the work of innovative institutions who strive to break new ground and challenge our understanding of art today. Presented to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures (opening in Los Angeles in late 2019), the $250,000 award will support their exhibition, Regeneration: Black Cinema 1900-1970 which opens in Fall 2020. The first exhibition of its kind, Regeneration will reveal the important and under-recognised history of African American filmmakers in the development of American cinema. It will explore African American representation in motion pictures from
its advent to just beyond the Civil Rights era.
Launched in May 2017, the Sotheby’s Prize offers an annual sum of up to $250,000 to recognize curatorial excellence and help facilitate exhibitions that explore overlooked or under-represented areas of art history. In addition to the main prize, a sum of $10,000 is also awarded to a number of institutions whose exhibitions and initiatives are judged by the jury panel to be inspiring and transformative. Between them, the commended list embraces both established and underrepresented artists, as well as the relatively unexplored aspects of sexuality and race in art, while at the same time supporting inspired new plans for community-based mobile exhibitions.
- ZUMU – A Museum on the Move: Next stop: Hura, Israel (Summer 2019)
- Henry Moore: The Helmet Heads at the Wallace Collection in London, England (March-July 2019)
- For Today I Am a Boy: Contemporary Queer Abstraction at Des Moines Art Centre in Des Moines, Iowa,
USA (June-September 2019)
- Art and Race Matters: The Career of Robert Colescott at Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinatti, Ohio,
USA (September 2019-February 2020)
- Jackson Hlungwani: Alt and Omega at the Norval Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa (February-July
This drawing by Lucas van Leyden which measures a tiny 11 x 5 inches was just sold for £11.4m, an order of magnitude above its £1.5m estimate. Christie’s sale to benefit Rugby School brought in £14.79m. According to Christie’s, “the sale inspired widespread interest from across the globe with registered bidders from 33 countries across five continents. Over 40% of the lots were sold to or directly underbid by online bidders on Christie’s Live.
Sotheby’s just announced that Adam Chinn is leaving the company at the end of the year to be replaced by John Cahill as Chief Commercial Officer and Ken Citron running operations:
Sotheby’s is pleased to announce the appointment of John Cahill to the role of Executive Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer, and Ken Citron to the role of Executive Vice President, Operations & Chief Transformation Officer. The two new positions assume the previous role of Sotheby’s Chief Operating Officer held by Adam Chinn, who will be leaving the company at the end of the year. Cahill and Citron will join Sotheby’s in January, working closely with the Company’s leadership around the globe and reporting directly to Tad Smith, Sotheby’s CEO.
Dorotheum scored a record price for Carla Accardi yesterday with the sale of her Integrazione Ovale for €295k. The whole sale brought in €6.9m with the top ten lots dominated by Gunther Uecker, Hans Hartung and others:
- Günther Uecker Feld, 2012/2013 (€400-600k) €491,000
- Günther Uecker Johannes, 6 Teile, 1995 (€200-300k) €344,600
- Carla Accardi, Integrazione Ovale, 1958 (€160-240k) €295,800
- Hans Hartung, T 1989-U22 1989 (€85-125k) €259,200
- Hans Hartung T 1963-R50 1963 (€120-160k) €247,000
- Mario Schifano, A la Balla 1965 (€150-250k) €234,800
- Ernst Wilhelm Nay, Einklang 1953 (€200-300k) €222,600
- Maria Lassnig, Blasse Hockende 1971 (€130-250k) €216,784
- Alberto Burri, Nero Celotex 1991 (€150-200k) €198,200
- Jannis Kounellis, Ohne Titel 1961-62 (€70-90k) €161,600