NEW YORK—Christie’s sale of Victorian and British Impressionist art in London on Dec. 15 scored two records and realized a total of £2.94 million ($4.5 million) for 89 lots offered. Of these, 58, or 65 percent, were sold. By value the sale realized 66 percent.
The top lot, Derby Day, marked a new auction record for artist William Powell Frith. The piece was the first study of a famous painting in the Tate collection that was discovered in a private American collection in New England. Underbid by the Fine Art Society, London, it sold to a private UK collector for £505,250 ($780,611), compared with an estimate of £300,000/500,000.
It was followed by another record-setting work, Frank Cadogan Cowper’s oil on canvas Our Lady of the Fruits of the Earth, 1917, which sold for £469,250 ($724,991) on an estimate of £150,000/250,000.
London dealer Richard Green was the buyer of John Atkinson Grimshaw’s Waterloo Bridge, London, looking east, 1883, which sold within its estimate of £150,000/250,000 for £169,250 ($261,491). Another work by Grimshaw, Yew Court, Scalby, sold to a UK dealer for £79,250 ($122,441) compared with an estimate of £60,000/80,000.
Other top lots included Dame Laura Knight’s A Girl Reading, probably Florence Carter Wood (later Mrs Alfred Munnings), which sold for £181,250 ($280,031), compared with an estimate of £100,000/150,000. And Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Portrait of Annie Miller, 1866, went well above the £80,000/120,000 estimate to sell for £157,250 ($242,951).
Additional reporting by Colin Gleadell