Slow to Rise; Slow to Fall. Old Masters in London Buck the Trend.
Here’s Godfrey Barker on Christie’s Old Master sale:
Old Masters sold last night as if no economic slump had happened.
In an auction topped by a £3,849,250 Canaletto view of The Grand Canal from the Ca’ Corner, sold from the 250-year-old family collection of Viscount Hampden at Glynde Place, near Lewes, four-fifths of the lots found buyers.
A majority was sold at estimates set in the economic sunshine of last summer before the world fell apart.
Bloomberg‘s Scott Reyburn focused on the Tiepolo that was bought for $4.2 million, well above the pre-sale estimate:
London dealer Jean-Luc Baroni, standing toward the back of the crowded salesroom, had to wait for at least four bidders to drop out before buying the work. “I’m pleased with the price,” said Baroni, who was bidding on behalf of a collector. “It was the best painting by the best Italian 18th-century artist I’ve seen. Six months ago, it could have made five million pounds. Everyone’s scared at the moment.” [ . . . ]
“A lot of traditional Old Master collectors came up for air for this sale,” said Paul Raison, head of Christie’s Old-Master picture department in London, in an interview. “There was a lot of private European bidding. The weakness of the pound against the Euro played a part.”
Raison said there was less bidding from U.S. and Russian clients than there had been in previous sales, without specifying where the buyers are from.