The rearranged, record-setting Bronzino leads sales of Sotheby’s Old Masters in New York

What sometimes seemed like a four-act play with intermissions, Sotheby’s Old Masters Marathon in New York on Thursday (January 26) brought in $74.5 million ($89.7 million with fees), setting a record with the restored cover piece. Combined presale estimates for the 124 contracts offered during the four morning and afternoon sales ranged from $77.5 million to $111.9 million, perhaps an overly ambitious forecast given the mood in the market. Ten contracts spread over sales came backed by home warranties and/or irrevocable offers (also known as third-party warranties). A day earlier, Christie’s had fallen short of its pre-sale estimate, netting $62.7 million (including fees) from its high-profile auctioneers.

The multiple sale began with a white glove result of 10 Baroque works that belonged to divorced collectors Mark Fish and Rachel Davidson. The group was led by the bloody and dramatic Peter Paul Rubens Salome presented the head of Saint John the Baptist (1,609), which brought in a season-high $23.5 million ($26.9 million with fees), just short of its low estimate of $25 million. It was last sold at auction at Sotheby’s New York in January 1998 for $5.5 million.

peter paul robbins, Presentation of the head of Saint John the Baptist to Salome1609 courtesy sotheby’s

Orazio Gentileschi’s composition is extensive Repentant Saint Mary Magdalene, showing her partly unclothed figure lying partly on an open book, reached at its low estimate of $4 million. With fees, the price came to $4.8 million.

Robbins came to the market backed by an irrevocable offer and Gentileschi was backed by a guarantee.

A short break followed the sold-out Fisch Davidson Collection auction before the next tranche of the bids, a collection of Dutch portraits that once belonged to the late Seattle collector Thelin Schumann. These works brought more mixed results, led by the illumination of Frans van Mieris the Elder Young woman stamping a message by candlelight (1667), which topped its high estimate of $2 million for $2.2 million ($2.7 million with fees).

Another winner was the stunning and lit-up Jan van der Heyden Fantasy view of a quiet canal in Amsterdamwhich brought in $1 million ($1.2 million with fees) against a pre-sale estimate of $1 million to $1.5 million.

Jan van der Heyden Fantasy view of a quiet canal in Amsterdam Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Another coffee break preceded the main offering, the Motherboard Part 1 sale, which had pre-sale estimates totaling $23 million to $33.9 million (before fees). The sale saw a number of casualties mixed with a brief boom of auction fever, eventually recording a sale rate of just 60.4% by lottery.

A Little Gem of a Nativity Scene, a composition executed on a gold ground by the Florentine Master of Spinola’s Annunciation, sold for its low estimate of $2 million ($2.4 million with fees). This result was good enough to set a new auction record for works by a 14th-century painter.

Italian works stood out among the more than 50 pieces in the sale, with Annibale Carracci shining bright Portrait of a man with a chest-length mustache and beard (1587-90) brought in $120,000 ($151,200 with fees) for an estimate of $150,000 to $200,000, and recently rediscovered amazing cover segment, Bronzino’s Portrait of a young man holding a feather and leaf, possibly a self-portrait by the artist (about 1,527) nearly doubled its high $5 million estimate to a record $9 million ($10.6 million with fees).

At least four bidders chased after Bronzino’s photo, including one online bidder. The prized lot went to a hitherto unknown man sitting in the living room. get over it Portrait of a young man with a bookwhich sold at Christie’s New York in January 2015 for $9.1 million in a fee.

The picture had languished, unidentified for decades in a German government office building before it was returned to the estate of Gertrude (Trudy) Sommer, daughter of the original owner, Elsa Hesselberger, in 2021. Hesselberger acquired the painting in 1927, but its art collection and property were confiscated by the Nazis and perished in concentration camp at the age of 51 in 1941. All net proceeds from its sale will benefit charities, including Selfhelp Community Services.

The Last Pieces of the Stars for Sale, Anthony Van Dyck Motion Picture, Study of Saint Jerome, in oil on canvas set to a panel and showing the bearded saint naked and seated with outstretched arms, fetched $2.5 million ($3 million with fees), exactly in line with her estimate of $2 million to $3 million. It hits the market backed by a third party warranty.

Tiziano Vecellio, called Titian, Behold, the man Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Also in a religious context, the dark but dramatic Titian Behold, the man, which depicts Christ bound with a crown of thorns and a helmeted guard stationed beside him, sold for $1.7 million ($2.1 million with fees) against a pre-sale estimate of $1.5 million to $2 million. It was last sold under the name and title of “Titian’s Studio”. Christ as the man of sorrows At Christie’s New York in October 2019 for $206,250 with fees. In the interval it has been cleaned up and upgraded to signature status.

Reflecting a lighter mood, Pieter Brueghel the Younger is polymorphic Peasant wedding procession (1630), including a bagpipe player, made $1.8 million ($2.2 million with fees), just short of its low estimate of $2 million.

While buyers’ appetites seemed less buoyed at times, hunger appeared for the likes of Peter Lilly Hon Portrait. Mrs. Lucy Loftuswhich surpassed its high estimate of $300,000 to $1.2 million ($1.5 million with fees).

End the day in the afternoon with the 49-piece sale “Bouguereau and His Circle: Then and Now,” which juxtaposes the work of 19th-century French academic painter William-Adolphe Bouguereau and his contemporaries with similarly representative neoclassical paintings. vein. Elizabeth Jane Gardner Bouguereau is sweet little mother Hammer made $320,000 ($403,200) with fees for an estimate of $300,000 to $500,000.

Sotheby’s Masters Week sales continue on Friday, when Christie’s also wraps up most of the classic week’s auctions.

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