NEW YORK, NY.- Sothebys
annual Masters Week sales series kicked off on Wednesday in New York, with 210 paintings and drawings sold across three auctions for an overall total of $23 million far exceeding their overall high estimate of $16.6 million. The day was highlighted by a magnificent collection of drawings assembled over 40 years by Howard & Saretta Barnet, as well as property emerging from the gallery and private collection of preeminent dealer Otto Naumann, both of which established multiple auction records and outstripped pre-sale expectations.
Below is a look at some of the highlights that drove the results of Wednesdays auctions:
The Line of Beauty: Drawings from the Collection of Howard and Saretta Barnet
Auction Total: $11.6 Million
Gregory Rubinstein, Head of Sothebys Old Master Drawings Department, commented: We are thrilled with the results achieved by the Barnet Collection, which presented collectors with the opportunity to acquire drawings of the highest quality and beauty. These results demonstrate the markets understandable enthusiasm for museum-quality, fresh-to-market material, as was the case with the record-breaking Samuel Palmer drawing that led the auction. Its incredibly rare for such a collection to appear at auction, and its been a joy to have worked on it from start to finish. Rarely, if ever, have I seen a more perfectly chosen collection, in any category.
Assembled over some 40 years by the New York couple Howard and Saretta Barnet, this superb collection told the story of five centuries of the art of drawing in Western Europe. The auctions total of $11.6 million far outstripped its high estimate of $7.2 million, demonstrating the exceptional quality, beauty and market appeal for the Barnets collection.
The dedicated sale was led by Samuel Palmers A Church With A Boat And Sheep from circa 1831, which achieved $2,.4 million nearly seven times its high estimate of $350,000, and a new world auction record for the artist. Created during his fabled Shoreham period, the present work is an extremely fine example of Palmers monochrome drawings, with other such works housed in the collections of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, the Tate Britain and the British Museum in London.
Museum-quality works by Francisco José de Goya and Claude Lorrain also far-exceeded expectations. An intense, powerful, and self-contained image from one Goyas extraordinary private albums of drawings, No Ilenas Tanto La Cesta (Don't Fill The Basket So Full) brought $2.1 million (estimate $1/1.5 million). The drawing stands as one of most important works by the artist to appear on the open market in recent years. The second lot of the sale, Lorrains atmospheric landscape The Valley Of The Aniene, Near Tivoli, With The Ruins Of The Aqua Anio Novus Aqueduct fetched $1.6 million (estimate $600/800,000). The work represents one of the finest and most significant drawings by the artist remaining in private hands, and has not been seen in public since it was exhibited at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, some 40 years ago
The Otto Naumann Sale
Auction Total: $6.2 Million
George Wachter, Chairman of Sothebys America and Co-Chairman of Sothebys Old Master Paintings Worldwide, commented: We were honored to work with Otto Naumann once again in presenting his distinguished selection of paintings. The tremendous success of tonights sale is a testament to Ottos taste, sophistication and collaborative spirit, with top prices driven by private collectors from around the world who competed to own a piece of his vision.
Wednesdays auctions concluded with a dedicated evening sale of property from the gallery and private collection of Otto Naumann, the preeminent dealer of Old Master and 19th Century paintings who is regarded as one of the most respected figures in the international art scene. Offering a supreme assortment of Dutch, Flemish, Italian, Spanish and British paintings spanning the 16th through the 19th centuries, the auction totaled $6.2 million surpassing its high estimate of $5.2 million.
The sale established new auction records for eight artists, including benchmark prices for James Drummond, Denys Calvaert and Giovanni Bilivert. Biliverts small-scale painting on copper Venus, Cupid and Pan led the sale, achieving $879,000 (estimate $300/500,000). With its highly-polished surface, the artist displays his superb sense of refinement in colors and skill in conveying different textures. Joaquín Sorolla y Bastidas Viejo castellano sirviéndose vino (The Old Man of Castille) also exceeded pre-sale expectations, fetching a strong $627,000 against a high estimate of $300,000. One of a group of major life-sized figural compositions that the artist painted in 1907, the work demonstrates the artists interest in ethnography and variations in Spains regional dress, customs, and culture.
Old Master Drawings including the Collection of Professor Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann
Auction Total: $5.2 Million
The various-owner sale of Old Master Drawings was anchored by the collection of the late Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann, the long-standing and much revered professor of the History of Art at New York Universitys Institute of Fine Arts. Haverkamp-Begemann was a highly important figure in the teaching and study of 17th-century Dutch and Flemish art, and drawings were always an integral part of his approach to teaching. The collection totaled $1.5 million nearly double its high estimate and was led by Karel van Mander the Elders The Repentance of Zacchaeus the Tax Collector, a beautifully-preserved example of late 16th-century Dutch Mannerist draughtsmanship that sold for $387,000 (estimate $60/80,000).