London Old Masters Sales bring uneven results

December 9th, 2012

Sir Joshua Reynolds Portrait of Elizabeth, Lady Forbes (detail), courtesy ChristiesCollectors seeking iconic works at the Old Masters sales in London this week have led to uneven results: at Sotheby’s a bidder paid $47.9 million for “Head of a Young Apostle,” by Raphael; at Christie’s, only 29 out of 54 lots sold, bringing in $18.6 million, just over low estimate. “The name is not enough. It has to be a top example by an important master,” said Jonathan Green of the Richard Green Gallery in London. Additional speculation is that international, non-Western buyers are not interested in the historical subject matter from a cultural standpoint.
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