Sotheby’s recent sale of Old Masters realised more than £52 million at its evening sale, a substantial increase on both London sales from last year.
The sale was led by J.M.W Turner’s Ehrenbreitstein, which sold for £18.5 million, the highest price paid for an Old Master painting at Sotheby’s London since the sale of the artist’s Rome, From Mount Aventine for a record £30 million in 2014.
The sale also offered ten works on paper by Turner, which sold for a combined £1.3 million, bringing the total for works by Turner to £19.8 million.
The evening sale saw participants from 32 countries competing in one of the larges sales of its kind, comprising nearly 70 lots, two-thirds of which had not been seen publicly for over two decades. Other works have been rarely seen at auction, with 40% offered for the first time (27 lots out of 68) and 18% (12 lots) offered for the first time in over 50 years. Five lots were offered for the first time in over a century.
Elsewhere in the sale, auction records were set for eight artists, including:
Jan Van Scorel’s Portrait of a gentleman, wearing a fur-lined cloak and black hat, which made £368,750 (previous record for the artist £80,298)
Jan Sanders van Hemessen’s Portrait of Elisabet, court fool of Portrait of Anne of Hungary, which sold for £2,168,750 – over five times over its low-estimate (previous record for the artist £1,762,500)
Hans Van Wechlen’s Peasants merrymalking at a village kermesse fetched £296,750 (previous record for the artist £180,500)
Johann Richter’s Venice, the Piazzetta looking north-west towards the Campanile, which made £368,750 setting a new record in sterling (previous record for a single work by the artist £259,418)