When you put together all of the various sales held this week in London you get a total of approximately £107m. Sotheby’s had £45.5m across all of their sales. Christie’s had £62m with the Jelgersma collection making £25m, the sale to benefit the Rugby School making £14.4m with the bulk of that coming from £11.4m paid for a Lucas van Leyden drawing.
Here’s Christie’s press release on the sales:
On the evening of 6 December, Old Masters at Christie’s realised a combined total of £42,241,000/ $53,730,552/ €47,352,161, selling 65% by lot with registered bidders from 29 countries across 4 continents. The Important Old Master Paintings from The Eric Albada Jelgersma Collection: Evening Sale achieved £21,389,250/ $27,207,126, selling 64% by lot; the Old Masters Evening Sale realised £20,851,750/ $26,523,426, selling 67% by lot.
A pair of portraits by Frans Hals Portrait of a gentleman, aged 37 and Portrait of a lady, aged 36, sold for £10,021,250 / $12,747,030 setting a new world record price for the artist at auction (estimate: £8-12 million).
Further highlights include arguably the most important Golden Age painting by a female artist left in private ownership, Merry Company by Judith Leyster, which was sold for £1,808,750/ $2,300,730 (estimate: £1,500,000-2,500,000), setting a new world record price for the artist at auction and selling for almost four times the previous record. The Collection Sale on 7 December was led by a rare Italian architectural model based closely on the Temple of Portunus which sold for £187,500/ $239,250 (estimate: £50,000 – 80,000).
Sotheby’s had this release on their sales:
Sotheby’s London sales concluded with a combined total of £45,566,613 / $58,084,687 / €51,240,012. Strong performances across five sales, including Old Master Paintings, Sculpture and a dedicated sale of portrait miniatures saw exceptional sell-through rates with totals exceeding their pre-sale estimates.
OLD MASTERS PAINTINGS, 5-6 December
- Together the Old Masters Evening and Day sales totalled £34,563,175 / $44,030,820 / €38,883,625
- Participants from 22 countries with strong bidding from new and traditional markets, particularly UK
- 85.7% sell-through rate achieved for the Evening sale – the highest achieved in the category in London, with 45% of lots selling above top estimates
- 4 auction records achieved in the Evening sale (The Master of the Aachen Altar, The Master of Saint Veronica, Jacob Isaacksz. van Ruisdael (record in sterling) and Erasmus Quellinus the Younger).
- The Evening sale presented fresh-to-the-market works with almost half of the lots offered having not appeared on the market for over 30 years
- Private collectors dominated bidding (75% vs. 25% dealer by lot) with two institutional purchases (Evening sale: Lot 6, Day sale: Lot 188)
- Over 7,250 people visited the pre-sale exhibition over 5 days
- Rare oil sketch by Rembrandt realised £9,480,800 ($12,080,435 / €10,665,921), over its estimate (lot 18, est. £6 – 8 million). Appearing on the market for the first time in 60 years, the touching portrait of Christ until recently hung in the artist’s house in Amsterdam. In preparation for display in the seminal exhibition “Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus” at the Louvre, Paris in 2011, the painting underwent extensive cleaning and conservation during which two fingerprints were found, presumably those of the artist himself.
- Royal portraits of King Charles I’s two eldest children by Sir Anthony van Dyck, among the last works painted by the artist, made £2,620,000 ($3,338,404) and £790,000 ($1,006,618) respectively (lots 29 and 30, est. £2-3m and £600,000-800,000). Depicting the eleven year-old Prince of Wales (later King Charles II), and his nine year-oldsister Mary (the mother of the future king, William III), the works were painted on the eve of the English Civil War and provide a penetrating likeness of the royal children at a time when their world, and the Stuart monarchy, was on the brink of collapse.
Strong performance for Dutch and Flemish art
Half of the works in the sale were by Dutch and Flemish artists
90% of them sold for a combined a total of £24,685,550 / $31,454,326, well above estimate (est. £16.8 -23.7m)
- Jacob Isaacksz. van Ruisdael’s A Harleempje: a panoramic view of Haarlem and the bleaching fields seen from the north-west realised £2,650,000 ($3,376,630) (lot 13, est. £1.5 – 2m). Celebrating the artist’s native city of Haarlem, this work established Ruisdael as the leading landscape painter of the Dutch Golden Age.
- One of the finest works by Jan van de Cappelle, A Calm Sea achieved £2,050,000($2,612,110) (lot 15, est. £1-1.5 million).
- One of Jan Brueghel the Elder’s earliest and most pioneering works, An extensive coastal landscape with fisherman landing and selling their catch, Jonah being cast overboard and offshore, 1595, achieved £1,990,000 ($2,535,658) (lot 11, est. £1.8 – 2.5m).
- Aert van der Neer’s Winter landscape with kolf players realised £1,210,000(1,541,782) (lot 38, est. £1-1.5m). The artist’s winter landscapes are by far his most prized and sought-after paintings
- A Winter landscape by Pieter Brueghel the Younger sold for £970,000 ($1,235,974) (lot 27, est. £700,000 – 900,000).
- A stunning depiction of Mary Magdalene reading by Ambrosius Benson rose to £730,000 ($930,166) (lot 1, est. £200,000-300,000)
Further highlights from the sale
- A beautiful and intensely personal triptych attributed to the Master of Saint Veronica, circa 1410 realised £1,570,000 ($2,000,494) (lot 6, est. £1.2-1.8m).
- The arresting and refined depiction of Christ by a close associate of Leonardo da Vinci in around 1510, soared to £874,000 ($1,113,651) (lot 4, est. £250,000 – 350,000).