LONDON - Tonight Sotheby’s London Old Master & British Paintings Evening Sale realised a total of £20,074,500/ $31,364,399/ ˆ23,437,051, comfortably within the pre-sale estimate of £17.6 – 24.2 million. The top lot of the sale was a pair of paintings by Johann Zoffany - the most important works by the artist to appear on the market in recent years - The Garden at Hampton House, with Mr and Mrs David Garrick taking tea and The Shakespeare Temple at Hampton House, which fetched £6,761,250/$10,563,777/ ˆ7,893,784 (pre-sale est. £6-8 million).
A further sale highlight was Jan Havicksz Steen’s masterpiece An elegant company in an interior with figures playing cards at a table, which was sold for £4,875,250 /$7,588,967/ˆ5,670,857 (est. £4.5-6 million) and established a new record at auction for the artist. The sale was 68.4% sold by lot and 89.5% by value, with four works selling for more than £1 million. Record prices at auction were achieved for both Jan Havicksz Steen and Cornelius Engebrechtsz.
Alex Bell, Sotheby’s Co-Chairman, Old Master Paintings, Worldwide, said: “Tonight’s strong result brings Sotheby’s global total of Old Master & British Paintings sales to £158,498,882 / $247,306,435, representing an eleventh successive year of leading in Old Master Paintings auction sales. We were extremely pleased that the carefully selected group of works offered tonight was enthusiastically sought after by both private and trade buyers across an international spectrum.”
Emmeline Hallmark, Sotheby’s Head of Early British Paintings, comments: “The sale of the exceptional pair of paintings by Johann Zoffany, which are among the greatest 18th Century works to come to the market in a decade, is a triumph for British Painting. The artist’s innovation in originating these ‘conversation pieces’ marked a change in the course of art history, and their exceptional quality was reflected in the competitive bidding tonight.”
Further Records For Artists At Auction Achieved:
In addition to the record price achieved for Jan Havicksz Steen, Cornelius Engebrechtsz’s The Crucifixion with the Virgin Mary, Saints Mary Magdalene, John the Baptist, Peter and an unidentified male saint sold for £121,250 /$189,441/ ˆ141,560, against a pre-sale estimate of £100,000-150,000.
Other Notable Prices Achieved:
David Teniers the Younger’s A Guardroom Scene with Tric-Trac Players in the Foreground fetched a strong price of £481,250/ $751,905/ ˆ561,861 (pre-sale est. £400,000–600,000).
Attributed to Lucas Cranach the Younger Young Lady Three Quarter Length, in a Green Velvet and Orange Dress and Pear-Embroidered Black Hat fetched the above-estimate sum of £1,385,250/ $2,164,315/ ˆ1,617,284 (pre-sale est. £800,000-1,200,000).
Offered at auction for the first time, Alberto Pullicino’s Seven Views of Malta fetched £289,250/ $451,924/ ˆ289,250 (pre-sale est. £200,000–300,000). The works represent the largest and most complete set of views of the island and harbours of Malta to have survived from the eighteenth century, and the only such set to have remained together since its acquisition or commission.
A Continental School, early 19th Century Landscape with Bengal Tigers sold for more than double its pre-sale high estimate, fetching £301,250/ $470,673/ ˆ351,710 (pre-sale est. £80,000-120,000).
Andrea Solario and Studio’s oil on panel Ecco Homo sold for more than four times its high estimate, fetching £385,250 / $601,915 / ˆ449,781 (pre-sale est. £60,000-80,000).
Strong Prices Achieved for British Paintings
Offered at auction for the first time, Joseph Wright of Derby’s Virgil’s Tomb by Moonlight fetched the well above high estimate sum of £1,497,250/ $2,339,303/ ˆ1,748,045 (pre-sale est. £600,000-800,000). An instantly recognisable masterpiece of the British Romantic movement the work was painted in 1779 and is one of a distinguished group of paintings inspired by the artist’s travels in Italy.
A beautiful and romantic view of Durham Cathedral by John Glover is arguably the artist’s most impressive English masterpiece. The work fetched £241,250 / $376,929/ ˆ281,660 (presale est. £200,000-300,000).
• Sold by lot: 68.4%
• Sold by value:89.5 %
• Of the 38 lots offered, 26 sold
• Average lot value: £772,096 / $1,206,323/ ˆ901,425