NEW YORK—Christie’s sale of Old Master paintings on Oct. 4 realized $12.9 million for 159 lots on offer. Of these, 108, or 68 percent, were sold. By value the auction was 87 percent sold.
The top lot was A Still Life of Flowers in a Vase, by Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder (1573-1621), which brought a mid-estimate $1.83 million (estimate: $1.7/2.7 million). A record was set for Charles-Antoine Coypel (1661-1722) when his Painting Awakening Sleeping Genius fetched $937,000 (estimate: $600,000/800,000).
Christie’s specialists Nicholas Hall and Richard Knight said the results confirmed the house’s decision in late 2006 to move its main New York Old Master sale to April from January, and hold a second sale in October. They noted that three of the top ten lots were purchased via Christie’s online bidding service, known as Christie’s LIVE, adding, “We were encouraged by the wide interest from clients in Europe, Asia and the Americas—and, notably, the Italian collectors who turned out in force.”
Other top lots: Jan Brueghel II’s View on the Scheldt with Antwerp in the Distance, 1610, which exceeded the high $500,000 estimate to take $914,600; and Dirck Van Baburen’s oil Achilles Preparing to Avenge the Death of Patroclus, 1624, which fetched $937,000, in the middle of the $800,000/1.2 million estimate. The Madonna and Child with St. John the Baptist, by Francesco Botticini (circa 1446-98), realized a final price of $385,000 (estimate: $50,000/70,000).
St. John the Evangelist, an oil on canvas by Carlo Dolci (1616-1687), nearly tripled the high $100,000 estimate when it brought $289,000 from a private buyer. Two oil-on-canvas paintings of birds, by Jakob Bogdani (1660-1724), also fared well, bringing $361,000 each, or double their high estimates of $180,000.