ARTnewsletter Archive

Smaller Bonhams Sale Yields Some Surprising Results

Bonhams held its auction of Old Masters on July 8. Only 53, or 57 percent, of the 93 lots sold, but despite the sell-through rate, the £2.86 million ($4.6 million) total came in within estimates on the back of two exceptional results.

LONDON—Bonhams held its auction of Old Masters on July 8. Only 53, or 57 percent, of the 93 lots sold, but despite the sell-through rate, the £2.86million ($4.6million) total came in within estimates on the back of two exceptional results.

The first was an unsigned 18th-century Italian vedute painting, View of the Tiber Looking Towards the Castel Sant’Angelo, with St. Peter’s in the Distance, which Bonhams had found in a cottage in Devon, England, during a routine valuation. Bonhams catalogued it as the work of Andrea Locatelli, with a £150,000/250,000 estimate, but was then informed by an expert on the far superior view painter Giuseppe Zocchi that it related to a drawing by that artist, and was therefore identifiable as his work. At the sale, the painting was announced as being by Zocchi, and was sold for a record £1.3million ($2.1million) to a private phone buyer, underbid by London dealer Richard Green.

Green also underbid another top lot, Boy at a stone window, an untouched and fresh-to-the-market portrait by 17th-century Flemish artist Jacob van Oost depicting the sitter with a lute. Estimated at £50,000/80,000, the painting sold to French & Co., New York, for £624,000 ($1million).

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