A historic lineup


Christie’s December Classic Week realises £54,197,621


Christie’s December Classic Week closed on 15 December, with its 17 sales achieving a superb combined total of £54,197,621. Bidding was strong throughout, with participation from 63 countries and a 57% increase in registered bidders on last year’s season, resulting in excellent average sell-through rates of 86% by value and 76% by lot.

Sales were led by El Greco’s Saint Francis and Brother Leo in Meditation, which made £6,871,250, the second highest price for the artist at auction, while the Old Masters Evening Sale also saw a new auction record for Bartholomäus Spranger, whose Mercury carrying Psyche to Mount Olympus sold for more than five times its high estimate at £3,368,750. There was also particularly robust bidding in the first ever standalone Gold Boxes sale, which achieved a 93% sellthrough rate by lot, and the online sale of the Astor collection, which achieved a 100% sell-through rate by value.

Following these exceptional successes, we are now accepting consignments to our Classic Weeks in New York and London in April and July next year. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free and confidential valuation, or to discuss the market.

Features

Auction highlights

  • El Greco

    Saint Francis and Brother Leo in Meditation
    Price realised
    £6,871,250
    Related sale
    Old Masters Evening Sale, 7 December

  • Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

    Portrait of Petronella Buys (1610–1670)
    Estimate
    £1,500,000–2,500,000
    Related sale
    Old Masters Evening Sale, 7 December

  • Studio of François Clouet

    Portrait of Hercule-François, Duke of Alençon and of Anjou
    Estimate
    £70,000–100,000
    Related sale
    Old Masters Evening Sale, 7 December

  • Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863)

    Le 28 juillet – la liberté guidant le peuple
    Estimate
    £700,000–1,000,000
    Related sale
    19th Century European & Orientalist Art, 14 December



    View special publication

  • James Smetham (1821–1881)

    Irene (The Mandolin)
    Estimate
    £100,000–150,000
    Related sale
    Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art, 13 December

  • A Roman marble head of Athena of Albani type

    c. late 2nd century A.D.
    Estimate
    £100,000–150,000
    Related sale
    Antiquities, 6 December

  • The Music Lesson

    A Swiss jewelled enamelled musical gold snuff-box with automaton, the box by Jean-Georges Rémond (fl. 1783–c. 1820), marked Geneva, c. 1810, the movement by Antoine Rojard, Geneva
    Estimate
    £60,000–80,000
    Related sale
    Gold Boxes, 5 December

  • Thomas Baines (1820–1875)

    The Mosi-o-a-tunya (Smoke resounding) or Victoria Falls of the Zambesi River, Latitude 17.55.4 South
    Estimate
    £70,000–100,000
    Related sale
    Topographical Pictures, 14 December



    View special publication

  • An early English glass celestial globe

    John Cowley (fl. 1730–40)
    Estimate
    £100,000–150,000
    Related sale
    Valuable Books & Manuscripts, 13 December

  • Archibald Thorburn (1860–1935)

    Blackgame in the glen
    Estimate
    £70,000–100,000
    Related sale
    The Astor Collection from Tillypronie, Aberdeenshire, 15 December

  • Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528)

    The Engraved Passion
    the complete set of 16 engravings, 1507–1513
    fine, early impressions
    Estimate
    £70,000–100,000
    Related sale
    Old Master Prints, 13 December

  • Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

    Self-Portrait etching at a Window, 1648
    etching and drypoint
    Estimate
    £100,000–150,000
    Related sale
    Old Master Prints, 14 December

  • Sir Arthur Ernest Streeton

    Portrait of Louis Abrahams
    oil on panel
    Estimate
    £60,000–80,000
    Related sale
    Australian Art, 14 December

  • A marble figure of the Venus de Medici

    after Antonio Canova, c. 1810
    Estimate
    £25,000–35,000
    Related sale
    European Sculpture, 6 December

  • Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617)

    Landscape with a Shepherd Couple, from Four Small Landscapes
    Woodcut in black with heightening in white, circa 1597–1600
    Estimate
    £7,000–10,000
    Related sale
    Old Master Prints, 14 December



How to buy at auction

The thought of participating in an art auction can be intimidating to a first-time collector. In reality, bidding in a Christie’s sale has never been easier, whether you want to attend a live auction at one of our international salerooms, or bid online via Christie’s Live™.

The experience of collecting fine art and objects should be enjoyable for everyone. At Christie’s, prices start at the surprisingly affordable – during Classic Week, you might pick up a piece of history for just a few thousand pounds.
 
Watch our video for a quick tutorial on how to buy with us.

You may also like...

The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller

With a commitment of sale proceeds to charities, the Rockefellers continue their long legacy of philanthropy. Christie’s has been selected to manage the Spring 2018 auction of more than 2,000 items