Christie's joint French art and wine auctions, have been completed this week (January 25) in New York.
As we’ve reported, the wine auction offered a wonderful range of vintages from Bordeaux, Rhone, Burgundy and Champagne. We’ll report on that shortly.
Likewise, the French art was sold at the same time as some Old Masters, led by a Franz Hals owned by Elizabeth Taylor for $2.1m.
There were some non-sales in the French art auction, which was 57% sold by lot. But there were some spectacular successes too.
As expected, the top lot was by Fragonard: This beat its $2m-3m estimate to sell for $3.6m to a determined American bidder.
Jean-Antoine Watteau’s The Union of Comedy and Music was the second lot, selling on target for $902,000.
However, the big surprise was Louis-Léopold Boilly’s work, described as ‘A trompe-l'oeil with a cat and a wooden log through a canvas, fish hanging from the stretcher.’ This tripled its $150,000-250,000 listing to bring $842,500.
Nicholas Hall, Co-Chairman of Old Masters & 19th Century Art, comments: “The Old Master Paintings sales saw success across a wide variety of genres including 18th century Italian views, the Dutch golden age, Flemish Baroque, as well as French Rococo, as demonstrated by Fragonard and Watteau.
”We are particularly pleased with prices achieved for the rediscovered or reattributed works in the sale by Gerrit Dou, Sir Peter Paul Rubens, Thomas de Keyser, and the Portrait of a gentleman by Frans Hals from the Collection of Elizabeth Taylor.
Additionally, between the two sales today, eleven paintings sold in excess of $1 million. We look forward to the continuation of the sales tomorrow.”
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