• Press release
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  • London
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  • For immediate release
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  • 14 July 2017

PRESS RELEASE | Christie's Classic Week Totals £87,169,480 / $112,601,271 / €98,976,239 - London, 4 to 13 July 2017

Strong Online Bidding and Global Participation from 65 Countries

 International Museums Acquire Major Works at Christie’s Classic Week

 Francesco Guardi’s The Rialto Bridge with the Palazzo dei Camerlenghi, Achieves the Highest Price for an Old Master Painting this Year Across all Houses

 The Marble Lions from the Tomb of Charles V by André Beauneveu Achieves a World Auction Record for any Medieval Work of Art

London – Christie’s Classic Week concluded on 13 July 2017, achieving a combined total of £87,169,480 / $112,601,271 / €98,976,239 across 11 sales, spanning the Decorative Arts, Antiquities, Old Master & British Paintings, Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art, 19th Century Works of Art, Books and Manuscripts and The Collection of Raine, Countess Spencer. The week witnessed global participation from 65 countries, along with significant online bidding, highlighting the international collecting base for the Classic Week categories. Online bidding was particularly evident in Antiquities, Valuable Books and Manuscripts and The Collection of Raine, Countess Spencer, which saw over 40% of the works being bid for by online buyers. The sales were led by Francesco Guardi’s The Rialto Bridge with the Palazzo Dei Camerlenghi, which realised £26,205,000 / $33,883,065 / €29,847,496, the highest price achieved for an Old Master painting this year across all houses and the marble lions from the tomb of Charles V by André Beauneveu, which sold for £9,349,000 / $12,088,257 / €10,648,511, a world auction record for any medieval work of art. The Collection of Raine, Countess Spencer inspired determined bidding, achieving £1,905,938 / $2,458,660 / €2,146,086, with sell-through rates of 93% by lot and 95% by value and brings the total for the collection to £2,753,938 / $3,555,124 / €3,111,958, including the paintings offered in the Old Masters Evening Sale. The top lot of the sale was an 18 carat gold, ruby and diamond parure by Van Cleef & Arpels, which realised £221,000 / $285,090 / €248,846. Further highlights of Classic Week include Albert Einstein’s billiard briar pipe, which achieved £52,500 / $67,253 / €58,590, against a pre-sale estimate of £5,000 to £8,000 and The Maria Fitzherbert Jewel, which sold for £341,000 / $440,913 / €388,399, achieving an artist record for a portrait miniature by Richard Cosway. The results of this week demonstrates the confidence of a buoyant global market for the Classic Week sales and confirms the success of the cross-category concept.


Christie’s July 2017 Classic Week total: £87,169,480 / $112,601,271 / €98,976,239.

34% increase in online registrants from July 2016 Classic Week and global record numbers of online registrations were seen for the following categories: Antiquities, Valuable Books and Manuscripts, 19th Century European and Orientalist Art.

The online sale, Einstein: Letters to a friend achieved sell-through rates of 100% by lot and value, realising £1,291,667 / $1,666,250 / €1,454,417, over five times its low estimate.

Registered bidders from 65 countries for Classic Week sales, up from 53 last season.

Strong average sell-through rates: 80% by lot and 80% by value.

1,216 works of art sold during Classic Week.

Significant participation of public institutions acquiring:

- The Rijksmuseum van Oudheden: A ceremonial bronze, The Ommerschans Hoard, circa 1500-1350 (price realised: £485,000 / $626,135 / €550,475)

- The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Giuseppe Cades, Portrait of the princes Camillo and Francesco Borghese as young boys (price realised: £56,250 / $72,618 / €63,843)

- The Cleveland Museum of Art: Domenico Maria Canuti, The Apotheosis of Romulus (price realised: £20,000 / $25,820 / €22,700)

- The Museum Flehite, Amersfoort with the support of Vereniging Rembrandt: Gaspar van Wittel, called Vanvitelli, A view of Amersfoort (price realised: £185,000 / $238,835 / €209,975)

19 Auction Records were set for:

- André Beauneveu, a carved marble group of two addorsed lions (£9,349,000 / $12,088,257 / €10,648,511) (a world auction record for any medieval work of art)

- The portrait miniature, by Richard Cosway, The Maria Fitzherbert Jewel (£341,000 / $440,913 / €388,399)

- Santi Buglioni, a glazed terracotta roundel depicting the Virgin and Child with an adoring angel (£68,750/ $88,894 / €78,306)

- Thomas Compigné, Views Of The Chateau De Saint Hubert (£50,000/ $64,650 / €56,950)

- David Rijckaert II, A stoneware ewer, a Berkemeyer and a conical glass in a bekerschroef, with confectionary in a silver platter, on a ledge (price realised: £557,000 / $720,201 / €634,423)

- The Master of the Antwerp Adoration, A triptych: The Crucifixion (price realised: £965,000 / $1,247,745 / €1,099,135)

- Liberale da Verona, Tobias and the Angel (price realised: £317,000 / $409,881 / €361,063)

- Pellegrino di Mariano Rossini, The Story of Mars and Venus (price realised: £81,250 / $105,056 / €92,544)

- Alessandro Rosi, The Holy Family (price realised: £233,000 / $301,269 / €265,387)

- Timoteo Viti, The Massacre of the Innocents (price realised: £173,000 / $223,342 / €196,355)

- Jusepe de Ribera, lo Spagnoletto, Two men hunting pigeons and a woman carrying a basket on her head standing beside (price realised: £185,000 / $238,835 / €209,975)

- Carlo Maratti, Saint John the Evangelist disputing the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception with Saints Gregory, Augustine and John Chrysostom (price realised: £209,000 / $269,819 / €237,215)

- Luigi Sabatelli, Armida and the sleeping Rinaldo on a chariot drawn by dragons and escorted by putti (price realised: £60,000 / $77,460 / €68,100)

- Adriaen van der Werff, Apollo and Daphne (price realised: £12,500 / $16,137 / €14,187)

- Hendrik Gerrit ten Cate, A wooded landscape with figures by a pond (price realised: £20,000 / $25,820 / €22,700)

- Samuel Frederick Brocas, The General Post Office and Nelson's Pillar (price realised: £20,000 / $25,820 / €22,700)

- George Romney, The Dream of Atossa (price realised: £81,250 / $104,893 / €92,218) (record for a work on paper)

- Pollie Clarke, A moment of victory (price realised: £30,000 / $38,610 / €33,870)

- George Woolliscroft Rhead, O Salutaris Hostia (price realised: £75,000 / $96,525 / €84,675)

For individual results of Classic Week, please click here.

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi, 2017), for a single collection sale (the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, 2018), and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019).

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

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