8 Works Sold Above £1 Million and 13 Above $1 Million.
Christie’s Classic Week evening sales – The Exceptional Sale and the Old Masters Evening Sale – realised a combined total of £47,514,277 / $56,732,047 / €55,591,704, achieving sell-through rates of 72% by value and 77% by lot.
The top lots of the evening were Lucas Cranach the Elder’s The Nymph of the Spring, which sold for £9,449,500 / $11,282,703 / €11,055,915 and achieved a world auction record for the artist, and an Egyptian Limestone Group Statue for Mehernefer and his Son, which realised £6,014,500 / $7,181,313 / €7,036,965. 25% of new registrants to this evening’s sales were millennials; the breakdown of buyers by region [by lot] was: 58% EMEA / 28% Americas / 14% APAC.
The Exceptional Sale
Christie’s Exceptional Sale realised a total of £19,382,020 / $23,142,132 / €22,676,963. Among the top lots of the sale were:
- An Egyptian Limestone Group Statue for Mehernefer and his Son, dated to the Old Kingdom, mid-late 5th Dynasty, circa 2400-2300 B.C (an estimate on request), achieved £6,014,500 / $7,181,313 / €7,036,965. The provenance of this statue dates back to the 18th century when it was first presented to King George III as a gift from the Ambassador in Constantinople, Sir James Porter, during his appointment from 1746 to 1761. King George III subsequently donated the statue to Thomas Worsley (1797-1885) at Hovingham Hall, where it has remained ever since
- Bob Dylan’s first new studio recording of “Blowin’ in the Wind” since 1962, from a special session with multi-Grammy-winning producer T Bone Burnett, on the recently announced groundbreaking ‘Ionic Original’ disc (estimate: £600,000-1,000,000), sold for £1,482,000 / $1,769,508 / €1,733,940. This ‘Ionic Original’ disc is the first recording to utilise this patented technology from Burnett’s company, NeoFidelity, Inc. The auction of this unique lot – in Bob Dylan’s 60th anniversary year as a recording artist – marks a first in music history
- A magnificent pair of Napoleonic silver-mounted rifled presentation flintlock pistols by Boutet & Fils, Versailles, serial no. 345, circa 1809, realised £978,000 / $1,167,732 / €1,144,260
- A pair of monumental Louis-Philippe white marble and giltwood five-light figural torchères, second-quarter 19th century (estimate £60,000-80,000) sold for £906,000 / $1,081,764 / €1,060,020, over 15 times the low estimate. These torchères were formerly in the collection of the Rothschild family at Mentmore, Buckinghamshire, built between 1852 and 1854 by Baron Mayer Amschel de Rothschild (d. 1874).
The 1884 catalogue of the contents of Mentmore describes a set of four marble figures from the château de Neuilly, the preferred residence of King Louis-Philippe (d. 1850) of which the present pair was part
“Marshall McLuhan said that a medium surrounds a previous medium and turns the previous medium into an art form, as film did with novels, as television did with film, as the internet has done with television, and as digital has done with analogue. With Bob Dylan’s new version of “Blowin’ In The Wind”, our first Ionic Original archival analogue disc, we have entered and aim to help develop a music space in the fine arts market. I trust and hope it will mean as much to whomever acquired it today at Christie’s Exceptional Sale as it does to all of us who made it, and that they will consider it and care for it as a painting or any other singular work of art.”T Bone Burnett, Founder of NeoFidelity Inc. and multi-Grammy-winning producer
Old Masters Evening Sale
The Old Masters Evening Sale realised £28,132,257 / $33,589,915 / €32,914,741. Five artists’ records were set. Among the top lots of the sale were:
- From the collection of Cecil & Hilda Lewis, Lucas Cranach the Elder’s (1472-1553) The Nymph of the Spring (estimate: £6,000,000-8,000,000) achieved £9,449,500 / $11,282,703 / €11,055,915, while Jan Jansz. den Uyl’s (1595-1639) Pewter jug and silver tazza on a table (estimate: £2,500,000-3,500,000), realised £3,162,000 / $3,775,428 / €3,699,540. Both establishing world auction records for the artists
- Jacob Van Ruisdael’s (1628 ⁄ 1629-1682) A wooded landscape with a man and two dogs on a path, a cottage beyond from The Wetzlar Collection realised £3,402,000 / $4,061,988 / €3,980,340, a world auction record for the artist
- Sir Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641), Portrait of a Carmelite monk, head and shoulders (estimate: £2,800,000-3,500,000), realised £3,391,457 / $4,049,400 / €3,968,005
- Pietro Bellotti’s (1725-1804/1805) Venice with the Punta della Dogana, looking East towards the Doge’s Palace and Venice with the Grand Canal, S. Geremia and the entrance to the Cannaregio (estimate: £150,000–250,000) sold for £428,400 / $511,510 / €501,228, a world auction record for the artist
- Anton Raphael Mengs (1728-1779), Portrait of Friedrich Christian, Prince of Saxony (1722-1763), three-quarter-length, in armour, with an ermine lined mantle and the sash and star of the Order of the White Eagle (estimate: £100,000-150,000) realised £478,800 / $571,687 / € 560,196, a world auction record for the artist
Clementine Sinclair, Head of Old Masters Evening Sale: “The strong results of this evening’s Old Masters Sale were a testament to the strength and depth of the market. The sale achieved 83% by lot, the highest lot percentage for a London July Evening sale since 2012, with 48% of the Old Masters lots selling above the high end of the estimate.
There were multiple bidders on all of the top lots, from Cranach’s sumptuous, large-scale Sleeping Water Nymph to Ruisdael’s beautifully understated early landscape, and den Uyl’s incredibly rare and original still life. The success of the two principal collections – the Lewis Collection and the Wetzlare Collection – which were both 100% sold, underlines the demand for works that are fresh to the market with notable provenance. We welcomed bidders from 16 countries and there was strong engagement from Asia across all schools.”
For further commentary on the sales from Amjad Rauf and Clementine Sinclair, please watch the post-sales press conference here.