New York auctions. Sotheby’s 2014 Old Masters Week Sales Over $70Million. Multiple Artist Records Set During Old Masters Week. 30 January 2014.
IMPORTANT OLD MASTER PAINTINGS ACHIEVES $51 MILLION LED BY PAINTINGS FROM THE DUTCH GOLDEN AGE.
COURTS OF EUROPE AUCTION SURPASSES HIGH ESTIMATE BRINGING OVER $16 MILLION.
Four Paintings Recovered by Monuments Men Sell for $1.5 Million.
Sotheby’s annual Old Masters Week sales have achieved an impressive total of $71,768,126* as of 30 January 2014. Today’s sale of Important Old Master Paintings & Sculpture totaled $51,361,251 (est. $42/60 million) with works from the Dutch Golden Age performing particularly well. Multiple bidders entered into a prolonged battle for an important rediscovery by Gerrit van Honthorst, a merry group behind a balustrade with a violin and a lute player, eventually driving the price to $7,557,000, more than double the pre-sale estimate (est. $2/3 million) and achieving an artist record at auction. The annunciation by El Greco far exceeded expectations, reaching $5,877,000 (est. $1/1.5 million), after five bidders fought for the composition previously known to scholars only from photographs.
Christopher Apostle, Head of Department, Old Master Paintings, Sotheby’s, notes, “Once again, Sotheby’s dominated in the field of Old Master Paintings in New York during Old Masters Week. We were pleased with the results from today’s sales which proved that collectors are searching for quality works at attractive estimates. We had immense participation and global bidding from four continents including Asia, Australia, Europe and North America with a number of new buyers to the Old Masters market. Works from the Dutch Golden Age performed particularly well led by important rediscoveries by Honthorst and Ochtervelt, and two paintings featuring Pieter Brueghel the Younger’s most iconic subjects – Summer and the Bird Trap. Over the past several seasons, we have seen an increased appetite for paintings from the Renaissance and Rococo which proved to hold true today with our Courts of Europe theme sale which reached above the high estimate.”
This afternoon’s themed sale, The Courts of Europe: Renaissance to Rococo surpassed its high estimate, totaling $16,400,750 with over 76% lots sold and over 90% of lots sold achieving at or above their estimate (est. $10/15 million). Leading the sale was a bronze of Samson slaying the Philistine attributed to Willem van Tetrode which achieved $3,301,000, more than double the high estimate ($800,000/1.2 million). Multiple bidders drove the price of the unique and striking Portrait of a gyrfalcon, viewed from three sides to $3,189,000, more than triple the high estimate ($700,000/1 million).