It was bought by New York dealer Otto Naumann., who was in the room and beat a telephone bidder.
“I was amazed,” Naumann said in an interview. “I was prepared to pay double that. It was very dirty. Maybe people were worried how it would clean. It was bought for stock. I will do what dealers do, restore it and try to get more.”
Bonhams London Old Master sale made £6.3m tonight with records for Adriaen Coorte at £2.1 m. Here’s Bonhams’s press release on the subject:
A second lost masterpiece of considerable importance offered today was Three peaches on a stone ledge with a Painted Lady butterfly by the Dutch artist Adriaen Coorte, which sold for £2.1million, setting a new world record price for the artist at auction and smashing the pre-sale estimate of £300,000-500,000. This previously unrecorded painting is an interesting addition to Coorte’s oeuvre. It belongs to a group of still lifes, all undated, which are signed with initials only. Compositionally this group is very close to another recently discovered painting, of 1693, which allows a dating of 1693-95 for the Bonhams picture and the rest of the initialled group.