Landscapes, Rococo Splendour, Icons and Fine Frames

Explore the results from our most successful Old Masters Paintings sale

Our recent Old Master Paintings sale was the most successful yet for the department, with nearly 90% sell-through rate and numerous outstanding prices soaring above high estimates.


21/10/2021     Old Masters

Circle of Thomas Gainsborough

Landscape attributed to the circle of Sir Thomas Gainsborough, which sold for £21,250 including Buyer's Premium

 

The top lot in the sale was a sensitive landscape attributed to the circle of Sir Thomas Gainsborough, which had been estimated at £2,000-3,000. The painting, once handled by the esteemed London dealers Arthur Tooth & Sons, sold for £21,250, including Buyer's Premium, to a private Russian buyer after heated telephone and internet bidding.

The sale also featured a group of art historical books from the library of the esteemed scholar and curator of the Fitzwilliam Museum, the late David Scrase. This, the first part of the Scrase Library to be sold at Chiswick, with a second instalment planned for 3 December, sold 100% by lot.

There was strong and consistent participation across 84-lot paintings sale, with buyers across four continents from 16 different countries besides the UK.

By value, UK-based buyers accounted for 45% of the sale, while European buyers - with French and then Polish buyers at the top of the list - bought 27.5% of the sale by value. Russia bought 22.5% of the sale by value, and a further 7% went to buyers in the rest of the world, including India, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. 

Head of Department, Dr Albert Godetzky, who joined Chiswick in June this year, said: ’I am delighted with the outcome of this, my first Old Masters sale at Chiswick, and particularly thrilled by its international reach. We saw strong and competitive bidding from 16 countries, and we are especially delighted to see private buyers from Russia, India and Australasia looking to the Old Masters market, in addition to robust activity from UK buyers’.    

A sale of variety and quality

Anthonispoort in AmsterdamAnthonispoort in Amsterdam, Jan van der Heyden, which sold for £15,000 including Buyer's Premium

Dutch and Flemish cabinet pictures performed exceptionally well, with highlights including a fine view of the Anthonispoort in Amsterdam by Jan van der Heyden and his workshop, selling for £15,000 including Buyer's Premium to a trade buyer against an estimate of £5,000-7,000.

Other highlights in this and related categories included a tavern scene after a composition by Adrien van Ostade (est. £400-600) selling for £3,750 including Buyer's Premium, and an atmospheric depiction of a Roman market in the Piazza del Popolo attributed to Hendrik Mommers, which sold for £4,500 including Buyer's Premium against an estimate of £1,500-2,500.

Portraits, of both English and continental schools, were the object of eager competition from both collectors and trade. Among these, a fine portrait of James, 1st Duke of Hamilton attributed to Cornelis Janssens van Ceulen sold for £5,250, including Buyer's Premium, to a UK buyer.

Icons

The sale include a collection of Greek and Russian icons. 

Also included in the sale were seven Greek and Russian icons from a distinguished private collection. Together, the seven lots surpassed the combined low estimate of £1,350 to sell for a total of nearly £5,000 including Buyer's Premium.

Rococo splendour and refined elegance in fine frames

The market for fine frames, which made up the second part of the sale, was thriving with excellent results for quality and historical examples. An early 19th-century Empire frame (lot 113, est. £700-1,000) as well as an 18th-century English frame (lot 89, est. £300-500) each achieved £2,250 including Buyer's Premium.

Another highlight was a rare and unusual 17th-century Dutch ebony ripple moulding frame of exceptional craftsmanship and refinement (lot 86, est £600-800) which sold for £1,062 with fees.

Shining through the frame section of the sale was an important mid 18th-century Rococo mirror frame formerly in the Royal Collection, Buckingham Palace, selling for £15,000 including fees to a private buyer.

Frame

The mid 18th-century Rococo mirror frame, which sold for £15,000 including Buyer's Premium

Looking ahead: A focus on paper

The next Old Masters sale at Chiswick will be on 3 December 2021 and will be dedicated to works on paper, both drawings and prints. Previously, Paintings and Drawings had been combined in one auction. Now, the newly created auction category ‘On Paper’ will enable greater focus on the graphic arts and offer clients and collectors a unique sales platform highlighting five centuries of artistic creativity in drawing and printmaking.

To consign works to ‘On Paper’, or to consign to the next Old Master Paintings sale in Spring 2022, please contact: albert.godetzky@chiswickauctions.co.uk

View the full auction results here. 

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