Franckens the younger's $1.14m 'pre-Rembrandt' art auctions in Zurich


From September 19-24, around 2000 lots will be offered for sale at over seven auctions at Koller Zurich.

The Swiss auction house will be hoping that the results will follow the success of its June sale of Swiss Art with around CHF 14 million ($17,764,900) and the final price of CHF 7.3 million ($9,263,140) for the portraits of two children by Albert Anker.

Koller's upcoming sale promises "an especially strong" selection of works by the masters. One of the most important objects in September is an outstanding painting by the Antwerp master Frans Franckens the younger.

His remarkably detailed Old Testament scene of the "Feast of Belshazzar" from circa 1610, which 25 years later was also depicted by Rembrandt, will be offered with an estimate of CHF 700,000-900,000 ($1,142,030).

Frans Franckens the younger's The Feast of Belshazzar, circa 1610

The Frans Franckens the younger artwork is a major coup for the auction house. The Flemish Baroque painter is historically the best-known member of the large Francken family of artists whose works have previously sold for hundreds of thousands on the private markets.

These include his Allegory of the Four Elements - another similar work of his can be found in the J Paul Getty Museum - which sold for £212,500 in Sotheby's, London, back in 2001. It would likely be worth considerably more today.

Elsewhere in Koller's sale, the classic Dutch still life is represented with Jacob Marrel's "Bouquet of Flowers in a Clay Vase" (CHF 350,000-450,000 or $571,015) circa 1645 and the masterly floral still life with insects by Ambrosius Bosschaert the younger from 1631 (CHF 200,000-300,000 or $380,677).

A liturgical book depicting Saint Catherine of Alexandria's life

Meanwhile, Koller's sales will also present an auction of Old Master Prints and Drawings, with the work of the great masters from the early 14th to the 19th centuries represented.

From a book illustrator from the Lake Constance area comes a page fragment from a liturgical book with scenes from the life of Saint Catherine of Alexandria. It carries an estimate of CHF 40,000-60,000 ($76,135).


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