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  • Press release
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  • London
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  • For immediate release
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  • 16 July 2018

RESULTS: Classic Week Post-Sales Overview - London, July 2018

London – Comprising a total of 14 live auctions and online sales, with works of art dating from antiquity to the 20th century, Christie’s London Classic Week sales in July 2018 collectively realised £72,376,000 / $95,809,981 / €81,738,228. The top lot of the series was a gift from Louis XIV to his son, the Grand Dauphin, Hercules Overcoming Acheloüs, circa 1640-50 by Florentine sculptor Ferdinando Tacca (1619-1686). The bronze sold in The Exceptional Sale 2018 for £6,758,750 / $8,935,067 / €7,637,387, setting a new world record price for the artist at auction (estimate on request: in the region of £5 million). This was followed by Ludovico Carracci’s Portrait of Carlo Alberto Rati Opizzoni in armour which sold for £5,071,250 / $6,704,193 / €5,730,513 in the Old Masters Evening Sale, becoming the second highest price for the artist at auction. The group of works by Thomas Rowlandson from the Collection of the late Baron Alain de Rothschild in the Old Master & British Drawings & Watercolours sale and also the group of works by Simeon Solomon from a private European collection in the Victorian Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art sale were both 100% sold. With strong online participation throughout the sales, including the most successful Japanese Prints online sale to date, the Science & Natural History auction saw 70% of lots sell online through Christie’s LIVETM, a notable figure only previously surpassed by Private Collection sales, such as Audrey Hepburn.


In this centenary year of women’s suffrage, Christie’s offered a notable group of works by talented female Victorian artists, including a recently discovered work by Emma Sandys which set a new world record price for the artist at auction; a portrait by old master painter Elisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun also sparked fierce competition, resulting in the second highest price for the artist at auction. Quentin Blake: A Retrospective; Forty Years of Alternative Versions saw a new record achieved for a work by Sir Quentin Blake with Charlie, Willie Wonka and Grandpa Joe and realised a total of £768,625 / $1,015,968 / €867,778; proceeds will benefit House of Illustration, Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity and Survival International.


In total, 14 records were achieved with new world record prices for the artist also set for Clifford, David, Fuseli, Koe, Peruguni, Mainardi, Nosadella, Reid Dick, Rosi, van Veen and Ximénez. New records for the medium were realised for works on paper by Waterhouse and Cooper Gotch, with the Plantin Polyglot Bible, formerly in the Spanish royal collection at El Escurial, also setting a new record for a Plantin production, in the Valuable Books and Manuscripts sale which achieved the second-highest total for a London sale in this category (£6,200,000).


2018 also marks the 300th anniversary year of Thomas Chippendale’s birth. The magnificent Dundas Sofas sold after sale for an undisclosed sum, exceeding the record price for Chippendale at auction.

CLASSIC WEEK BY NUMBERS
• Christie’s July 2018 Classic Week total: £72,376,000 / $95,809,981 / €81,738,228
• 10% increase in registered bidders from Classic Week July 2017
• Registered bidders from 65 countries
• Over 18,900 visitors to Christie’s King Street
• 14 world record prices at auction set for artists or mediums
• For individual results of Classic Week please click here and for the full list of all sales please click here to read the pre-sale press release

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. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.