The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Bids in the millions for Old Master paintings and surprises among furniture and silver
Ivan Fedorovic Choultse, Sunny winter landscape. Oil on canvas. 54,5x65,5 cm. Sold for CHF 192 000.
ZURICH.- The focus of Koller's Spring Auctions was on Old Art. Among the Old Master Paintings, Koller auctioned off the painting «Mary and Child» by the Flemish painter Jan Gossaert to an international private collector for CHF 2.37 million, slightly higher than the estimate. This is a new world record for a work by this painter, reached at an auction. The Silver auction likewise received remarkably high bids, e.g. three Southern German drinking vessels designed as a ship traded hands in the six-digit range, selling for up to CHF 444 000. Top prices were also paid for Furniture, due to extensive interest by collectors from Europe and the Middle East. Among the Books, the most successful lot was Peytier's album at CHF 384 000.

Old Masters and 19th century Paintings
Depictions of Madonnas high in demand

The top lot of the Old Master Paintings‘ auction on 28 March was the painting "Mary and Child“ by the important Flemish Renaissance painter Jan Gossaert (called Mabuse). The painting, which is one of the last works by this artist to be traded on the art market, was estimated at CHF 1.8 to 2.2 million and reached CHF 2.37 million (lot 3017), an auction world record for a work by this painter. The oil painting „A Hermit praying“ from 1670 by Gerrit Dou, which was estimated at a maximum of CHF 500 000 (lot 3038), also sold for over 1 million (CHF 1.05 million). In addition to the Madonna depiction by Jan Gossaert, other religious paintings from the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance were high in demand. The two altar wings depicting the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, with Saint Bartholomew and Saint Peter, by the so-called „Master of the Holy Kinship“ sold to a European private collection for CHF 572 000 (lot 3014). The probably Sicilian altarpiece from 1460/70, which was estimated at CHF 7 000, reached CHF 31 200, and the Madonna oil-on-wood by the so-called „Master of the Brocade Background“, which was likewise estimated at around CHF 7 000, changed hands at CHF 58 500 (lot 3005). A Tuscan Madonna dell‘Umiltà from the early 15th century in tempera on a gold ground sold for CHF 96 000, slightly above the estimate (lot 3004).

The landscapes by the German-Russian painter Ivan Choultsé were once again popular lots of the auction of 19th century Paintings. The painting „Sunny winter landscape“ sold for CHF 192 000 (lot 3207), and „Winter morning in St. Moritz“ found a new owner for CHF 114 000 (lot 3208). A painting of the French city of Abbeville by Eugène Boudin sold for CHF 120 000 (lot 3214), and Karl Spitzweg‘s „The Philosopher in the garden“ sold for CHF 96 000 (lot 3256).

Silver, Objets de Vertu, Porcelain & Faience
Nervousness on the market... again

On 24 March, Koller‘s Spring Auctions started with an extraordinary auction for Silver, Porcelain and Faience, reaching a total of CHF 2.1 million for the day. Out of over 200 lots, 150 found a buyer. A packed auction room and approximately 200 international telephone bidders caused quite a stir, with many bidders trying to outbid one another. At CHF 444 000, the silver drinking vessel by the Augsburg master Heinrich Winterstein, designed as a ship, sold for more than 3 times the estimated price (lot 1462). The two Nuremberg drinking vessels, one by Tobias Wolff, the other by Esaias zur Linden and featuring wheels and an armed crew, each sold for CHF 264 000 (lots 1447 and 1427). Tankards from the years around 1700 were high in demand as well. Estimated in the four-digit range, the tankard bearing the maker‘s mark Johann Jakob Petrus found a buyer at CHF 22 800, and a Zurich counterpart by Hans Heinrich Müller was sold for CHF 54 700 (lots 1465 and 1407). A further highlight were the two vermeil candelabras from London, manufactured around 1718/19 and bearing the maker‘s mark Edward Feline, which sold for CHF 43 300 (lot 1481).

Bidders in the Porcelain auction were especially enthusiastic about the objects of Meissen porcelain. The travel service bearing the coat-of-arms of the influential Venetian family Correr, which stemmed from a German private collection, exceeded all expectations with an estimate of CHF 50 000 and a price of CHF 114 000 (lot 1436). At CHF 78 000, another successful highlight was a tea and chocolate set featuring hunting scenes, which was once owned by the Bohemian aristocratic family Lobkowicz (lot 1456). The Meissen plate from the famous Christie Miller service had been estimated at CHF 25 000 and was sold for CHF 48 000 (lot 1433).

Furniture and Sculptures
Top bids covering the Renaissance up to Historicism

The large auction for Furniture and Sculptures on 27 March brought several surprises over the course of the day. Already shortly after the auction opened, bidders were agitatedly fighting over a Venetian wedding casket from the 15th century by the Embriachi workshop, opulently decorated with carved bone. The casket sold for CHF 108 000, i.e. more than four times the estimated price (lot 1019). The top lots for the morning were the red lacquer Louis XV commode by M. Criaerd at CHF 168 000 (lot 1115) and the astronomic long case clock from 1760, which sold for CHF 192 000 (lot 1060). Ecclesiastical sculptures were likewise high in demand and mostly sold within the estimated range.

The large mantle clock with planetarium from the Empire/Restauration sold for CHF 240 000 (lot 1243) and is going to Germany. A private collector from the Middle East acquired lot 1236, a bronze of a horse after the Roman sculptor Righetti, and lot 1202, a pair of Louis XVI vases with Sèvres porcelain and bronze mount, at CHF 72 000 and CHF 132 000, respectively. The same collector also bought the „surtout de table“ of the Parisian noble family De Cordier de Bigards from 1895, for CHF 126 000 (lot 1284).

Books and Autographs
Success for the „liberated Greece“

The top lot of the Books and Autographs auction on 29 March was the exquisite, colourful album by E. Peytier, an important tribute to the Greek Revolution and featuring 63 original watercolours. The lot was worth CHF 384 000 (lot 451) to a German private collector. Modern works by Salvador Dalì and Lucio Fontana were also high in demand.

Jewellery and Watches
Several diamonds ended in the six-digit range

On 25 March, Koller auctioned off jewellery and watches. Once again, diamonds were highly coveted. The tourmaline and diamond ring by Graff with a tourmaline of 29.6 ct and two diamonds weighing 2.01 ct each, sold for CHF 132 000 CHF (lot 2130). The only item reaching a higher price was a classic solitaire with a brilliant-cut diamond weighing 16.9 ct. This ring sold for CHF 234 000 (lot 2144). One bidder was willing to pay CHF 102 000 for the diamond ear pendants by Graff (lot 2136). Among antique jewellery, the opulently worked diamond necklace by Gübelin from 1950 sold for CHF 60 000 (lot 2039). A solitaire by the Zurich jeweller Binder/Majo Fruithof with a diamond of 6.54 ct changed hands at CHF 60 000 (lot 2029). The star of the Watch auction was the pink gold gentleman‘s wristwatch „Lunar One“ by Chopard, with a perpetual calendar. This watch sold for CHF 19 200 (lot 2400), i.e. in the upper range of the estimate.


(All results incl. buyer‘s premium.)



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