Colin Gleadell goes in-depth at the Sotheby’s single-owner watercolor sale where Ian Craft, a fertility doctor, sold off his collection of wonders. David Thomson, he of the record-setting Rubens several years ago, was buying in bulk:
The sequence of records was prefaced with a dramatically lit 1766 drawing of a boy reading, by Joseph Wright of Derby, which sold near its higher estimate to St James’s art dealer Novella Baroni, for £313,250 – the second highest price for a work on paper by the artist. Five lots later, a key player made his entrance when, bidding through an agent in the room, Canadian billionaire collector Baron David Thomson of Fleet homed in on a rare drawing by Richard Wilson, the influential landscape painter. The estimate for the 1754 drawing of the Villa Borghese in Rome was high, at £100,000 to £200,000, but Thomson rose to the challenge, buying it for a record £109,250.
Then came the fireworks. Continue Reading