AO Auction Results: Christie’s Old Masters on Tuesday: a $24,400,00 lost masterpiece

July 10th, 2008

La Surprise, Jean-Antoine Watteau (c. 1718) via Christie’s

Christie’s Old Master Sales that took place last Tuesday, July 8th, featured quite a few ‘lost’ works of art, and generated over $47 million. In addition to the three rediscovered Goya drawings which sold for a combined $8 million, La Surprise by Jean-Antoine Watteau led the Old Masters Sale with a record breaking $24,376,385. The Watteau painting had been lost for almost 200 years, and was assumed to be destroyed until it appeared last year in a private English collection. It is the highest paid price for a French Old Master painting sold at auction to date, and well exceeded it’s $5.9-$9.8 million estimate. The sale also featured artwork by Anthony Van Dyck, Pieter Brueghel II, Thomas Lawrence, William Larkin, Jan Josefsz Van Goyen, and many more notable old masters.

Rediscovered Watteau Masterpiece Sells for Record $24.4 Million [Artdaily]
A Watteau sets record at £12.36 million in an uneven Old Masters sale [IHT]
Lost Watteau Fetches Record; Old Masters Languish at Christie’s [Bloomberg]
ČR buys 8 Liechtenstein works at Christie’s auction [Praguemonitor]
Goya sketches “lost” for 130 years sold at auction [ReutersUK]
Goya Boosts Christie’s Drawings Sale [NYSun]
Francisco de Goya at Christie’s London [Coxsoft]
‘Lost’ Goya drawings sold for £4m [BBC]
Art buyers find ‘lost’ works [LATimes]
Christie’s Auction Results [Christie’s]
Goya Boosts Christie’s Old Masters Drawing Sale on Tuesday [Artobserved]

A rearing stallion, Anthony Van Dyck via Christie’s

Another top sale at Christie’s Old Masters Sale was a Van Dyck painting called A rearing stallion, estimated at $2.0 -$2.9 million, but sold for $6,066,130. The dealer, Noël Desenfans, was the first known owner of the painting in the 18th century. Desenfans is known for his large collection of valuable paintings and antiques that he left to the British Museum.

The Bad Shepherd, Pieter Brueghel II (1564-1637) via Christie’s

The Bad Shepherd by Pieter Brueghel II fetched almost $5 million at auction on Tuesday, and was originally estimated at $2-$2.9 million. The painting has been in the same private European collection for the past 57 years. Last Tuesday, July 8th, was the first appearance of the painting since it sold at an auction in Paris in 1938.

Portrait of Frederick William Stewart, Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830) via Christie’s

Another highlight of the sale, Thomas Lawrence’s Portrait of Frederick William Stewart, sold for $1,300,698