Sotheby's 19th Century European Art sale stars $2.3m Bouguereau

William Bouguereau's L'Orientale à la grenade (Girl with a Pomegranate) made a mockery of its estimate at Sotheby's 19th Century European Art auction in New York on May 4.

The 1875 work sold for $2.3m, 231.7% up on its $700,000 high estimate.

The work recently reappeared after more than a century away from the auction room.

Bouguereau Sothebys
Bouguereau's L'Orientale à la grenade
beat its high estimate by 231.7%

The sale is further evidence of demand for the French artist. His Idylle: famille antique beat its high estimate by 30.4% at Christie's 19th Century European Paintings auction on April 23, selling for $782,500.

It was one of six Bouguereau paintings to appear at the Sotheby's auction, his 1883 Orpheline à la fontaine achieving $578,500.

There was a new world record for a work by John William Godward, with his 1915 piece A Fair Reflection more than doubling its high estimate to make $1.4m.

Polly Sartori, head of Sotheby's 19th century paintings department in New York, said: "The Godward was one of several discovery stories in our sale, and the ability to draw such works from private collections is one of the great benefits of auction.

"The market recognized and responded to the wonderful quality on offer in today's sale."

Jacques-Tissot's The Morning Ride, which appeared at auction for the first time since 1944, made $1.8m, while Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot's Les étangs de Ville d'Avray surpassed its $1m high valuation with a $1.1m showing.

The works of Giovanni Boldini continue to sell well, his 1906 life-size work Portrait of Mrs. Howard-Johnston making $1.7m.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has this Salvador Dali autographed drawing available today.

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