NEW YORK, NY.- Christies
Classic Week series of sales totaled $71.7 million. The top lot of the week was the highly-anticipated Lucas Cranach the Elders Portrait of John Frederick I, which achieved $7.7 million, far exceeding the estimate of $1-2 million. The painting had been missing for nearly 80 years since it was dispossessed from the Gutmann family during the Second World War, so this result is a triumph for the heirs of Fritz Gutmann and the restitution community.
Christies April 20 auction of The Exceptional Sale achieved a total of $10,624,500. The sale sold 81% by lot and 91% by value, led by an exceptional Dutch silver Ewer by Adam Van Vianen, 1619, which realized $5,375,000, and set an auction record for Dutch silver. The work was acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The sale was highlighted by Daniel Craigs personal Aston Martin, a custom 2014 Centenary Vanquish numbered 007, which achieved $468,500. All sale proceeds of the car will benefit The Opportunity Network, a nonprofit organization of which Mr. Craig is on the board. The James Bond actor surprised attendees as he made an unexpected appearance at the sale, joining Christies staff at the phone banks and speaking to bidder on the phone to encourage extra bids on behalf of the charity.
An additional pop-culture highlight of The Exceptional Sale included a piece of music history, the personal Steinway piano of singer songwriter legend Carole King, which sold for $118,750.
The Old Masters Sale on April 19 set new world auction records with Saint Jerome by the Le Nain Brothers ($1,212,500), and Brutus condemning his sons by Guillaume Lethière ($852,500). The sale was 75% sold by lot and 92% sold by value proof that the market remains robust and the appetite for Old Masters Paintings is strong. There was strong participation from Asia, both from established and new clients, further demonstrating the evolution of the Old Master market and evidence that it is broadening to include a variety of new buyers.