Sotheby's announces two online auctions offering works from some of the world's leading Old Masters dealers

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Sotheby's announces two online auctions offering works from some of the world's leading Old Masters dealers
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, The Wood of Fontainbleau. Estimate $70-90,000. Courtesy Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s is set to offer works from the collections of many of the world’s leading Old Master dealers in two dedicated online sales, The Dealer’s Eye: London and The Dealer’s Eye: New York (18 – 25 June). Bringing together 39 internationally acclaimed dealers, each of whom has carefully selected three works for inclusion, the concurrent sales will feature exceptional examples of Old Master and 19th century paintings and drawings.

Presenting over 66 lots representing 22 esteemed gallerists, The Dealer’s Eye: London will feature works by masters such as Jacopo Bassano, Thomas Gainsborough and Anthony Van Dyck, whilst The Dealer’s Eye: New York, will offer 51 works by artists including Govert Flinck and Elisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun, selected from the collections of 17 dealers. Being drawn from the inventories of the leaders in the field, each work comes with the utmost endorsement in taste, attribution and condition.

With galleries temporarily closed and art fairs postponed in light of the current global circumstances, The Dealer’s Eye offers an unprecedented opportunity to bring the wider Old Masters community to new audiences via digital means and continues Sotheby’s long tradition of collaboration in the field. In the last two months alone Sotheby’s has held two successful online auctions dedicated to Old Masters dealers – in April, a collection of works from the gallery of Rafael Valls more than tripled it pre-sale estimate to achieve £1.6 million, whilst in May Refining Taste: Works Selected by Danny Katz saw a strong sell-through rate of 92%, with over 60% of the lots selling above their high-estimates.

Otto Naumann, Client Development Director for Sotheby’s Old Master Division, commented: “Before I joined Sotheby’s in 2018, I spent more than thirty years as an Old Masters dealer, traveling across the world to bring wonderful works of art to interested buyers, many times at major art fairs such as Tefaf Maastricht, Frieze Masters, and Masterpiece London. With The Dealer’s Eye, we’ve created our own version of an art fair, where dealers can continue to promote the works that make their individual galleries so unique. It gives me great pleasure to be able to support our gallery peers with this online sales initiative, as well as offer our clients this opportunity to acquire works specially curated by some of the most internationally-renowned Old Master galleries.”

London-based dealer, Charles Beddington, commented: “Sotheby’s is unique among auction houses in its enthusiasm for collaborations with the Old Master dealers, both individually and collectively. This is particularly welcome during a period when online auctions of Old Master paintings are doing particularly well, confounding those inclined to see this as a field not particularly suited to selling online. At the same time, Old Master dealers currently have limited access to their clients, and are bound to find particularly welcome the wide exposure provided by collaboration with Sotheby’s.”

"It is our pleasure to be invited to take part in this innovative sale concept, alongside many of our esteemed colleagues, “says Puppa Sayn-Wittgenstein Nottebohm of Richard L. Feigen & Co. “With exhibitions currently on pause, The Dealer’s Eye auction offers our community an opportunity to reach new clients and promote our artists and their extraordinary work to an international audience. This new transparent sale format allows bidders time to reflect and to gauge the interest in the lots. I have worked with the team at Sotheby’s in various ways for many years and have great respect for their knowledge and integrity."

Among the highlights in The Dealer’s Eye: New York will be works from some of the most prominent galleries in the city, including an elegant bust-length portrait of a Young Girl in Antique Costume by Elisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun (estimate $60,000-80,000) consigned by Wildenstein & Co.; a beautiful pair of flower still-lifes by 17th century French painter Jean Michel Picart (estimate $80,000-120,000) consigned by Lawrence Steigrad Fine Arts; and a full-length Portrait of James Abbott McNeill Whistler, sporting his characteristic monocle and top-hat, by British 19th century artist Walter Greaves (estimate $70,000-90,000) consigned by Adam Williams Fine Art. The New York auction also includes a number of works presented by European dealers, including an exuberant genre scene of a Shepherdess Holding Plums by Gerrit van Honthorst, consigned by Salomon Lilian (estimate $60,000-80,000); and a French landscape painting of The Wood of Fontainbleau by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, consigned by Galerie Sanct Lucas, which is estimated at $70,000-90,000.

Running simultaneously, The Dealer’s Eye: London will offer exceptional works consigned by distinguished dealers from across Europe, including the jewel-like Still Life with Shells by Antonio Ponce, being offered by Madrid based Caylus Gallery (estimate £40,000-60,0000); a lively and colourful costume drawing by Henri de Gissey consigned by Day & Faber (Estimate £60,000-80,000), and an idyllic view painting of the city of Florence and the Ponte alle Grazie by British painter Thomas Patch being offered by Robilant Fine Art (estimate £200,000-300,000). The sale also features a number of noteworthy portraits, such as John Hamilton Mortimer’s partially completed Self-Portrait, being offered by London based Lowell Libson & Jonny Yarker (estimate £30,000-50,000); and Pseudo-Tommaso Salini’s enigmatic Portrait of a Young Man as Bacchus, consigned by Benappi Fine Art, which is estimated to achieve £40,000-60,000.

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