a pair of stylish paintings by Johann Zoffany of the actor David Garrick with his wife and entourage in the grounds of Hampton House on the River Thames. On loan to the Tate since 2007, they had been sent for sale by Edward Lampton, son of the Tory peer Antony Lampton, who died in 2006.
But what of their value? Estimated at quite a punchy £6 million for the pair, they sold to the only bidder in the room, John Morton Morris of dealers Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox, for £6.76 million. The following day, members of the Garrick Club received an email informing them that they would now be able to enjoy the paintings as the club had bought them. The club bid for the paintings not just because of its connections with the sitter, but also as an investment.
According to an email from the club’s General Committee Chairman, they had taken advice from the club’s Investment Committee and elsewhere on the value of the paintings. “Members will be glad to know,” the email read, “the market value of the paintings is in excess of the ceiling which the committee placed on the bid and that resale, were it to become necessary, would pose no difficulty.” So perhaps the Garrick knows better than Sotheby’s who might buy these paintings for more.
Old master sales: when art restorers clean up (Telegraph)