Van Dyck's Hendrick Liberti portrait makes $4.5m at Christie's

Christie's Old Master and British Paintings Evening Sale has been topped by Sir Anthony van Dyck's Portrait of Hendrick Liberti.

Van Dyck was a Flemish artist but rose to become the leading court painter in England

Held on December 2 in London, the sale attracted international attention, including bidders from Russia, China and South America. The Van Dyck portrait sold for £2.8m ($4.5m) to a private collector.

Hendrick Liberti (1600-1669) was one of the top musicians in Antwerp, and this portrait remains one of Van Dyck's most arresting from his period in the city.

In 1639 it was bought for the collection of King Charles I at Whitehall and has since passed through the hands of several esteemed collectors.

However, after being sold at a 1923 auction, the painting had not been seen until the auction, even by renowned scholars in the field.

Also selling was a harbour scene by Dutch artist Willem van de Velde II (1633-1707), which is considered one of the finest works of his early period. It sold for £2.2m ($3.4m), making a 22.2% increase on its £1.8m high estimate.

Van de Velde the Younger's marine paintings are renowned for their photographic qualities, and remain some of the most accurate depictions of 17th century ships known. Several works are housed in the Wallace Collection in London.

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