Sotheby’s had a $60m Old Master sale today that reaffirmed their strength in the field. Some of the marquee lots by Zurbaran, Goltzius and van Dyck performed well or merely adequately. But the impressive feats of salesmanship came with the many lots sporting reasonable estimates that brought in big winning bids.
- Take, for example, “La Belle Ferronniere,” the celebrated painting once thought to be a Leonardo but now viewed by some as nothing more than a curiosity. Well, curiosity got the best of at least two bidders who drove the selling price to $1.5m, more than three times the high estimate.
- a Van Ruysdael estimated at $1m found the same sort of interest and sold for $3.3m.
- A similar story took place with an Adriaen van Salm work that had a $200k high estimate but went for $602,500 on the turntable.
- Or the Amberger estimated at $200-300,000 that cost the buyer $1.2m
- Finally, on a strict dollars against estimate basis, a Cranach from the afternoon session that had a $70,000 high est. sold for nearly six times that amount at $410k