On the evening of 6 December, Old Masters at Christies
realised a combined total of £42,241,000/ $53,730,552/ 47,352,161, selling 65% by lot and 84% by value, with registered bidders from 29 countries across 4 continents. The Important Old Master Paintings from The Eric Albada Jelgersma Collection: Evening Sale achieved £21,389,250/ $27,207,126/ 23,977,349, selling 64% by lot and 78% by value; the Old Masters Evening Sale realised £20,851,750/ $26,523,426/ 23,374,812, selling 67% by lot and 91% by value. The evening was led by the star lot from The Eric Albada Jelgersma Collection, the finest pair of portraits by Frans Hals to remain together in private hands: Portrait of a gentleman, aged 37 and Portrait of a lady, aged 36, which sold for £10,021,250 / $12,747,030 / 11,233,821, setting a new world record price for the artist at auction (estimate: £8-12 million). Five new artists records were set across the evening, for works by Frans Hals, Judith Leyster, Sir Thomas Lawrence, Jan Baptist Weenix, Werner van den Valckert, along with the second highest price for a work by Pieter Brueghel the Younger. The evening brings the running total to date for Christies Classic Week sales to £62,289,500.
Clementine Sinclair, Head of the Old Masters Evening Sale and Henry Pettifer, Head of Old Masters London, commented: We are very pleased with the results for the Old Master Paintings offered this evening, which achieved the highest evening total for Old Masters in December at Christies London since 2009. A number of outstanding prices were achieved, setting new artists records, including for: the Frans Hals pair of portraits from The Eric Albada Jelgersma Collection; the Sir Thomas Lawrence Portrait of Lady Selina Meade; arguably the most important Golden Age painting by a female artist left in private ownership, Merry Company, by Judith Leyster; and the second highest price at auction for a work by Pieter Brueghel the Younger. The strong total for the first part of The Eric Albada Jelgersma Collection reflects the quality and scope of the collection which is one of the most important private collections of Golden Age Dutch and Flemish pictures to have been formed in living memory. Following well received international pre-sale tours of highlights, the evening attracted global interest from collectors and institutions, with registered bidders from 29 countries across 4 continents.
The Old Masters Day Sale and The Eric Albada Jelgersma Collection Sale takes place on 7 December. Classic Week continues until 14 December.