sale of 19th Century European Paintings at Sothebys in London (featuring German, Austrian and Central European Paintings, The Orientalist Sale, Spanish Paintings and The Scandinavian Sale) realised a strong total of £8,382,550 / 9,688,559 against a pre-sale estimate of £6,480,000-9,572,000. The sale was 75% sold-by-lot and 89% sold-by-value.
Highlights of the sale were:
The German, Austrian and Central European Paintings, which performed exceptionally well, realising a combined total of £2.8 million, well in excess of the groups pre-sale high estimate. The 45 lots were 87% sold-by-lot and 97% sold-by-value and Albin Egger-Lienzs rare and important re-discovered Die Lebensalter (The Ages of Life) was the top lot of the group when it was sold to an Austrian private collector for £361,250.
Joaquin Sorollas recently re-discovered Nina Entrando en el Bano (The Bathing Hour) spearheaded the Spanish works on offer and was also the top-selling lot of the day; it sold to a US private collector for £1,665,250, one of the highest prices achieved for a work by the Spanish artist at auction in recent years.
A group of five works by the Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi was the undoubted highlight of the Scandinavian offerings and it brought a collective total of £297,650, a figure comfortably over the pre-sale low estimate for the group of £245,000. The Scandinavian section of the sale totalled £1,093,850 and was 83% sold-by-lot and 94% sold-by-value.
Adrian Biddell, Head of 19th Century European Pictures at Sothebys London, and Claude Piening, Senior Director in 19th Century European Pictures at Sothebys, commented after the sale: We were delighted that we were able to source some first-class property for this sale by leading names in the various regional European markets and that a large proportion of the sale was from private collections. What we saw today is that the desire for exceptional art remains as strong as ever. Competition for works of all levels and from all schools was extremely healthy, resulting in a very solid sold-by-lot rate of 75% - one of our highest sold-by-lot rates for many years. Dealers as well as private collectors were out in force today and were keen to secure the rare opportunities on offer, attracted by the strength of the Euro. These results give us many positive messages on all levels, and they once again re-affirm our belief that focusing on local markets across Europe and selling internationally is a proven and successful strategy.