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Property from the Collection of Charles Ryskamp Exceeds High Estimate to Bring $1.6 Million
The top lot of the auction was the watercolor Lemon, attributed to Giovanna Garzoni, which soared to more than 10 times its pre-sale high estimate and achieved $62,500. Photo: Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Old Masters Week opened today at Sotheby’s New York with the dedicated auction of Property from the Collection of Charles Ryskamp, which exceeded its high estimate in achieving $1,628,727 (est. $800,000/1.2 million*). Many bidders competed in the room and by phone for drawings, furniture and decorations from Mr. Ryskamp’s private residences in New York City and Princeton, New Jersey, which resulted in several works greatly surpassing their pre-sale estimates. Mr. Ryskamp served as Director of The Pierpont Morgan Library, now The Morgan Library & Museum, and the Frick Collection for a combined nearly 30 years, helping to make both institutions among the most prestigious museums in New York City. The works on offer today were sold for the primary benefit of Princeton University, where Mr. Ryskamp began his academic career.

“We are very pleased with the results of today’s auction of the collection of Charles Ryskamp, which exceeded our expectations,” commented Elaine Whitmire, Sotheby’s Vice Chairman. “Mr. Ryskamp played a prominent role in the New York art-world, and the buyers in today’s sale now hold a very personal piece of his unique aesthetic and passion for collecting.”

The top lot of the auction was the watercolor Lemon, attributed to Giovanna Garzoni, which soared to more than 10 times its pre-sale high estimate and achieved $62,500. Other works that greatly surpassed their estimates included Hendrik Hondius the Elder’s The Castle of Tervueren, which brought $50,000, and Edgar Degas’s Flowerpots, which more than doubled its estimate in selling for $50,000 as well. William Blake’s Sketches For America And Other Books And The Lion Lying Down With The Ox (Verso), an important double-sided sheet containing studies that relate to at least two of Blake's early literary projects, achieved $56,250. The work was purchased by a San Francisco dealer on behalf of collector Robert Essick.

Old Masters Week at Sotheby’ New York continues with sales through this Friday the 28th. A full calendar of the remaining auctions is below:

Old Masters Week 2011 – Calendar of Remaining Sales

Old Master Drawings
26 January
Important Old Master & 19th Century Paintings from the Collection of Jacob Elie Safra
26 January – 6:30pm
Important Old Master Paintings & Sculpture
27 January
Old Master & 19th Century European Art
28 January

*Pre-sale Estimates do not include buyer’s premium

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