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Europeans Boost Christie’s 19th-Century Paris Auction

Christie’s sale of Dessins et Tableaux Anciens et du XIXe siècle (antique and 19th-century drawings and paintings), held in Paris on Dec. 15, fetched E1 million ($1.44 million) and was 76 percent sold by lot, and 81 percent by value

NEW YORK—Christie’s sale of Dessins et Tableaux Anciens et du XIXe siècle (antique and 19th-century drawings and paintings), held in Paris on Dec. 15, fetched €1 million ($1.44 million) and was 76 percent sold by lot, and 81 percent by value.

Christie’s sale specialists Cécile Bernard and Elvire de Maintenant noted that the 19th-century paintings in particular aroused considerable interest among European collectors. A small study for the ceiling of the antiques room at the Louvre, Paris, L’étude guidant l’essor du génie, fetched €18,800 ($25,000) when it was preempted by the Louvre. The final price for the work, by Pierre-Paul Prud’hon (1758-1823), was far above the estimated €800/1,200.

The top lot was Portrait de Philippe d’Orléans, duc de Chartres, painted by Nicolas de Largillierre (1656-1746). The work brought €47,000 ($62,557) against an estimated €25,000/35,000 and went to a European gallery. The second-highest price paid was €44,650 ($59,429), for Bergers et leur troupeau dans un paysage, a dark-hued landscape scene showing shepherds, cows and sheep against a backdrop of trees. According to the catalogue, the work is attributed to Gainsborough Dupont (circa 1754-1829), and was estimated at just €12,000/18,000.

Mainly at the top end, the sale was dominated by European dealers and buyers. A picture by Félix-François-Georges-Philibert Ziem (1821-1911), Maison de pecheurs dans la lagune vénitienne, fell for a mid-estimate €41,125, or $54,737 (estimate: €35,000/45,000). A work by Jean-Louis Demarne (1744-1829), Une foire au village (A Village Fair), fetched €35,250 ($46,918). Estimated at €30,000/40,000, the painting depicts a lively scene of villagers talking, eating and drinking at a town fair and went to a European gallery, Christie’s reports.

Another over-estimate price was seen for Vue du port d’Amalfi, a quiet beach scene depicting boats and houses on the coast, by Pietro Scoppetta (1863-1920). The work was estimated at €14,000/18,000 but brought €32,900 ($43,790) from a European collector. A pair of paintings attributed to Carel van Falens (1683-1733), Le depart pour la chasse and Dispute entre des cavaliers . . .,took €25,850, or $34,406 (estimate: €8,000/12,000).

Just one American buyer appeared in the top ten, for a painting attributed to Jean-Baptiste Pater (1695-1736), La visite du camp. Estimated at €4,000/6,000, it realized €18,800.

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