Angelica Kauffman's (1741-1807) Portrait of Countess Lucia Memmo Mocenigo has attracted the highest bids in Christie's auction of The Collection of Professor Sir Albert Richardson, held on September 18-19 in London.
The portrait, a fine example from the neoclassical artist, sold for £433,875 ($699,840) to lead the collection, beating its £250,000 estimate by 73.5%.
Albert Richardson (1880-1964) was a celebrated collector, architect and president of the Royal Academy. His collection has remained untouched for over half a century, preserved by his grandson Simon Houfe, who is now selling Richardson's Avenue House in Finchley, London along with its contents.
The collection comprised 650 lots of furniture, art, architectural drawings, books, clocks and musical instruments, as well as a selection of Georgian costumes.
The second highest bids of the sale were seen by a set of four George III giltwood torcheres, which were produced circa 1770 and attributed to Robert Adam. Estimated at £120,000-180,000, the set sold for £229,875 ($370,788) - a 27.7% increase.
Demonstrating the eclecticism of the auction, a Roman marble group of Silenus riding a goat from the 1st century AD also featured in the top sales, selling for £193,875 ($312,720) against a £80,000-120,000 estimate.
A George III white and cream painted dining room pedestal followed, achieving an outstanding 274.2% increase on its £30,000 high estimate to sell for £112,275 ($181,100). The huge gain on its initial valuation can be attributed to the fact that it is believed the piece was made by Thomas Chippendale to a design by Robert Adam.
The market for George III furniture is particularly strong at the moment, with further sales coming to Sotheby's on October 24, when the auction house offers the collection of former Lehman Brothers president Joseph Gregory.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has some stunning English furniture for sale, including two spectacular John Linnell George III pieces.