NEW YORK, NY.-
The Rothschild Prayerbook, a magnificent masterpiece of Renaissance art with an illustrious provenance, sold at Christies
New York for $13,605,000 (£8,215,583 /9,931,650), maintaining its auction record for an illuminated manuscript.* A private collector bought the Prayerbook, via a telephone bid.
Kay Sutton, Director of Books and Manuscripts, comments: The Rothschild Prayerbook is a fabulous work of art and it has been an enormous pleasure and honour for us to be able to show it so widely and to such universal admiration an admiration recognized by the price it achieved at auction today.
One of the highest achievements of the Flemish Renaissance, the Prayerbook contains lavish and extensive illustration by the most renowned court artists of their day: there are miniatures and borders of unsurpassed beauty and refined execution by Gerard Horenbout, Alexander Bening and his renowned son Simon. Perhaps the most touching and exquisite miniature, the Virgin and Child on a Crescent Moon is accepted as one of a select group of illuminations by the painter Gerard David.
Likely made for someone connected to the imperial court in the Netherlands c. 1505, this Book of Hours, joined the fabled collections of the Rothschild family in the 19th century. In 1999, when the Collection of the Barons Nathaniel and Albert von Rothschild was entrusted to Christies in London, the Rothschild Prayerbook sold for £8,581,500/ $13,378,558, both a world record for its category and the highest price of all the works in the celebrated collection.
Nicholas Hall, Co-Chairman of Old Masters & 19th Century Art, comments: Christies Old Masters Week achieved a total of $68 million, and sold the top lot of the week with The Rothschild Prayerbook, which fetched $13.6 million. Several new auction records were set including Jacopo Bassanos The Adoration of the Shepherds ($8.9 million), Jan Provosts The Annunciation ($3.6 million), and Agostino Carraccis Portrait of Olimpia Luna as Judith and Melchiorre Zoppio as Holofernes ($869,000). The timeless appeal of Old Masters works of art attracted bidding from private collectors, institutions, and the trade from across the globe.
Francisco José De Goya Y Lucientes: Graphic Masterpieces From A Private Collection
Total: $3,824,625/ £2,294,775/ 2,791,976
Top Lot: lot 9 | Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828), Los Caprichos, the complete set of eighty etchings with burnished aquatint, drypoint and engraving, 1797-98 | $1,445,000/ £867,000/ 1,054,850
Old Master Paintings Part I
Total: $15,825,750/ £9,495,450/ 11,552,798
Top Lot: lot 12 | Giandomenico Tiepolo (Venice 1727-1804), I Cani Sapienti (The Dancing Dogs), oil on canvas WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR A SINGLE WORK BY THE ARTIST | $3,637,000/ £2,182,200/ 2,655,010
Old Master & Early British Drawings & Watercolors
Total: $1,278,125/ £766,875/ 933,031
Top Lot: lot 29 | Sir Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen 1577-1640 Antwerp) extensively reworking a drawing attributed to Hans Witdoeck (Antwerp 1615-after 1642) Saint Ildefonso receiving the Chasuble from the Virgin | $233,000/ £139,800/ 170,090
Old Master Paintings Part II
Total: $2,334,563/ £1,400,737/ 1,704,230
Top Lot: lot 270 | Sir David Wilkie, R.A. (Fife 1785-1841 Malta) Portrait of King William IV, three-quarter length, wearing the robes of the Garter | $106,250/ £63,750/ 77,562