Sotheby’s 19th Century sale was full of surprises today with a huge sales for Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema and Giovanni Boldini:
This afternoon at Sotheby’s, The Finding of Moses, a 19th century masterpiece by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, sold for a remarkable $35,922,500, more than seven times the presale high estimate of $5 million. The monumental canvas was sought-after by three determined bidders who battled for nearly eight minutes. Soon after auctioneer and Vice Chairman Benjamin Doller opened the bidding on the spectacular painting, it quickly rose to more than $20 million in a battle between two clients participating by phone. Suddenly, a new bidder in the room entered the fray, raising a paddle for $23.5 million. After several more minutes the painting sold to one of the original phone bidders for an extraordinary $35.9 million, a new record for the artist at auction. The previous record for the artist had in fact been set by this exact painting when it was sold in 1995 for $2.8 million. […] A new auction record was also established for Giovanni Boldini when his stunning Portrait of Giovinetta Errazuriz sold for $6,578,500, more than four times the high estimate of $1.5 million.