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FINE RESULTS FOR OLD MASTERS AT SOTHEBY'S IN LONDON
06 December 2018
Category : MARKET

The Old Master Evening sale at Sotheby's on December 5 2018 in London totalled 30.2 million GBP  with an exceptional sell-through rate of 86% - the highest ever achieved by the auction house in this category with a rare oil sketch by Rembrandt van Rijn sold for 9.48 million. 

Four auction records were achieved for The Master of the Aachen Altar, The Master of Saint Veronica, Jacob Isaacksz. van Ruisdael (record in sterling) and Erasmus Quellinus the Younger while: almost half of the lots offered in that sale had not appeared on the market for over 30 years. 


After undergoing extensive cleaning and conservation during which two fingerprints were found, presumably those of the artist himself. Rembrandt's rare oil sketch  representing  a  touching portrait of Christ was shown in the artist's house in Amsterdam. In preparation for display in the  exhibition “Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus” at the Louvre, Paris in 2011.

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 GBP and £790,000 GBP respectively. Depicting the eleven year-old Prince of Wales (later King Charles II), and his nine year-old sister Mary (the mother of the future king, William III), the works were painted on the eve of the English Civil War when the Stuart monarchy, was on the brink of collapse. 

Half of the works in the sale were by Dutch and Flemish artists of which 90% of them sold for a combined a total of 24,685,550 GBP well above an overall estimate situated between 16.8  and 23.7million. Jacob Isaacksz. van Ruisdael's showing a panoramic view of Haarlem and the bleaching fields seen from the north-west realised 2,650,000 GBP while one of the finest works by Jan van de Cappelle, A Calm Sea fetched 2,050,000 GBP against a high estimate of 1,5 million.

One of Jan Brueghel the Elder's earliest works, an extensive coastal landscape with fisherman landing and selling their catch with Jonah being cast overboard and offshore, 1595, sold for 1,990,000 GBP at its low estimate. Meanwhile, Aert van der Neer's Winter landscape with kolf players went for 1,210,000  GBP and a  Winter landscape by Pieter Brueghel the Younger reached 970,000 GBP, well above a low estimate of 700,000.

A depiction of Mary Magdalene reading by Ambrosius Benson culminated at 730,000 GBP against a high estimate of 300,000 while a fine triptych attributed to the Master of Saint Veronica, circa 1410 ,  fetched 1,570,000 GBP . In addition, a depiction of Christ by a close associate of Leonardo da Vinci painted around 1510, rose to 874,000 GBP against a high estimate of 350,000.
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