Masterworks by Fra Bartolommeo, Botticelli, Carracci, Durer, Chardin, Claude and Gainsborough headlined last week’s series of Old Masters auctions, providing a dramatic finish to a weeklong series of viewings, special events and sales that ignited the enthusiasm of bidders around the globe. The complete series of five auctions achieved a total of $88.4 million – the highest total for Old Masters Week in New York since 2006 – and reconfirmed the strength and depth of this market among private collectors and institutions. Four of the five most valuable lots during Old Masters Week were sold by Christie's.
Making its debut was the first-of-its-kind Renaissance auction, which set several new world auction records including the exquisite Madonna and Child by Fra Bartolommeo, which topped the week at $12,962,500. Additional notable world auction records included the Rockefeller Madonna and Child with Young Saint John the Baptist by Botticelli, doubling its low estimate to achieve $10,442,500, Chardin’s The Embroiderer, which sold for $4,002,500, and Annibale Carracci’s The Annunciation, a discovery that sold for twice its low estimate making $3,442,500. The Old Master & Early British Drawings & Watercolors sale shattered previous records, realizing $16.5 million and establishing world record prices for Claude, Gainsborough, Ingres and Tiepolo.
We look forward to building on the enduring strength of the Old Masters market and hope to see you at the upcoming sales in Paris (April 11 and 15) and London (July 3-4).