NEW YORK, NY.- Sothebys
hotly-anticipated marquee Old Master Paintings sales, held in New York this morning, together realized a total of $86.6 million, surpassing their combined $74.1 million pre-sale low estimate, and bringing the running total for Master Week sales thus far to $95m, with a further four sales still to come.
The morning opened with the white-glove sale of works from the unparalleled Fisch Davidson Collection - one of the most important collections of Baroque art ever to appear on the market. The sale was led by Sir Peter Paul Rubenss 1609 masterpiece Salome presented with the head of Saint John the Baptist, which reached $26.9m - the third highest price for the artist at auction.
Newly rediscovered and restituted, Agnolo Bronzinos extraordinary Portrait of a young man with a quill and a sheet of paper sold to a bidder in the room following a five-minute bidding battle for $10.7 million - doubling its $5 million high estimate, and setting a new world auction record for the artist. Proceeds of the sale will benefit Selfhelp Community Services, aiding holocaust survivors in North America, and The Lighthouse Guild a Jewish healthcare organization.
Todays white-glove result for the Fisch Davidson collection was a tribute both to the drama and splendor of these Baroque masterpieces, and to the combination of passion and meticulous dedication with which the collection was put together over the decades. I always believed these works would inspire the next generation of Old Master collectors all over the world, and indeed they did. --George Wachter, Sothebys Chairman and Co-Worldwide Head of Old Master Paintings
This Masters Week has been one of the strongest ever staged at Sothebys, from the record numbers pouring through our doors to peruse the weeks exhibitions, to the spirited bidding seen in the saleroom today. But not so surprising, perhaps, when rediscovered masterpieces by the likes of Titian, Bronzino and Van Dyck followed works from two exceptional collections across the auction block, in the space of just three hours. While there were many significant prices today, the most notable was for Agnolo Bronzinos long misattributed early portrait, which achieved a new record for the artist a further indication of the enduring strength of the market for Old Masters of the highest quality. --Christopher Apostle, Sothebys Head of Old Master Paintings in New York
It was a privilege to witness the record-breaking sale of this extraordinary work at Sothebys today, knowing that the proceeds will benefit Selfhelp Community Services and The Lighthouse Guild. This work now enters a new chapter of its life, and we are so pleased that through todays sale Ilse Hesselbergers name has rightfully been written back into its fascinating and long history.--Raymond V.J. Schrag, President of Selfhelp Community Services