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Portraits Lead Cowdray Auction

Elizabethan portraits accounted for five of the top-ten selling lots at Christie’s sale of the contents of Cowdray Park (Sept. 13-15). Four were full-length female portraits which had belonged to Lord Willoughby de Broke of Compton Verney until 1921, when they were bought by the second Viscount Cowdray.

LONDON—Elizabethan portraits accounted for five of the top-ten selling lots at Christie’s sale of the contents of Cowdray Park (Sept. 13-15). Four were full-length female portraits which had belonged to Lord Willoughby de Broke of Compton Verney until 1921, when they were bought by the second Viscount Cowdray. The most valuable, a portrait once thought to have been of Elizabeth I by Marcus Gheeraerdts, sold above the estimate for £325,250 ($515,200), to the Tudor and Stuart portrait dealer Mark Weiss. “It’s the most spectacular painting of its kind,” said Weiss. “I know of no other more elaborate costume piece than this. I was prepared to pay a million pounds for it.”The sale also featured paintings by James Ferrier Pryde, led by The Red Ruin, 1910, which sold for a record £91,250 ($143,810), compared with an estimate of £80,000/120,000; Queen Elizabeth’s Tree, which sold for £39,650 ($62,488) on an estimate of £40,000/60,000; and The Deserted Garden, ca. 1909, which sold for £79,250.

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