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Sotheby's Masters Week Achieves $82.5 Million in NY - Nearly Doubling 2017 Results


Nearly Double The Same Series in 2017 With 650+ Lots Sold across 6 Auctions

Evening Sale of Master Paintings Sets 11 New Artist Records Including Nicolas Lancret & Hans Holbein the Elder

MASTER DRAWINGS ACHIEVE AN EXCEPTIONAL $16.8 MILLION Led by the Superb Collection of Howard & Saretta Barnet

Sotheby’s Exhibition of Spanish Master Paintings Acquired by The Auckland Project Remains on Public View through 11 February A PENDANT TO ZURBARÁN'S JACOB AND HIS TWELVE SONS AT THE FRICK COLLECTION

NEW YORK, 2 February 2018 – Sotheby’s annual Masters Week auctions concluded today in New York, with 650+ paintings, drawings and sculptures selling for an overall total of $82.5 million – approaching the series’s high estimate of $85.9 million. This total is nearly double the results of the same sale series in 2017 ($41.9 million).

Sotheby’s exhibition of 15 outstanding Spanish Old Master paintings from The Auckland Project in Bishop Auckland, North East England will remain on public view in New York through 11 February – a pendant to The Frick Collection’s exhibition Zurbarán's Jacob and His Twelve Sons: Paintings from Auckland Castle. Belonging to Auckland Castle’s permanent collection, the works at Sotheby’s will form its newly created Spanish Gallery – opening in 2019 – and are on public view for the first time in America. Seeking to revitalize the former industrial town of Bishop Auckland through the creation of a world-class cultural and heritage destination, the new Spanish Gallery will be the first museum in the UK dedicated to Spanish art and culture.

Below is a look at some of the highlights that drove the results of our Masters Week series:

Master Paintings & Sculpture Day Sale Auction Total: $8.2 million

Our Masters Week auctions concluded on Friday morning with the Master Paintings & Sculpture Day Sale. The auction was led by Jacopo Zucchi’s 16th-century Portrait Of A Young Lady In An Embroidered Dress And Pearls, which sold for $567,000 – more than four times its pre-sale high estimate (estimate $80/120,000). Though the identity of the woman remains unknown, it is clear from her lavish costume and elegant pose that she is a member of the Florentine Medici court. The painting once belonged to the celebrated New York connoisseur Thomas Jefferson Bryan (1802-1870), and later formed part of the collection of the New York Historical Society upon his death in 1870.

Master Paintings Evening Sale Auction Total: $48.4 million

Thursday’s evening sale was led by an impressive pair of Venetian views by Canaletto, which sold for $4.2 million (left, estimate $3/4 million). Most likely completed in England in the 1740s, the pair offers waterfront views of two of the most recognizable façades in La Serenissima: the Church of the Redentore and the Prisons of San Marco. While there are other known views of the Church of the Redentore by Canaletto, the present view of the Prisons of San Marco is a unique composition for the artist of which no other version is known.

Christopher Apostle, Head of Sotheby’s Old Master Paintings Department in New York, commented: “We are absolutely thrilled with the sale’s results, which saw varied and spirited bidding from international institutions, private collectors and the trade. All major schools are represented at the highest end of the auction, demonstrating strength across the diversity of our market – Italian, Spanish, German French, Flemish and Dutch pictures all commanded standout prices. We saw competition for both traditional scenes, such as the Canaletto views and Lancret interior, as well as for arresting images like the two works by Cranach the Elder.

The Line of Beauty: Drawings from the Collection of Howard and Saretta Barnet Auction Total: $11.6 Million

Assembled over some 40 years by the New York couple Howard and Saretta Barnet, this superb collection told the story of five centuries of the art of drawing in Western Europe. The auction’s total of $11.6 million far outstripped its high estimate of $7.2 million, demonstrating the exceptional quality, beauty and market appeal for the Barnets’ collection. The dedicated sale was led by Samuel Palmer’s A Church With A Boat And Sheep from circa 1831, which achieved $2.4 million – nearly seven times its high estimate of $350,000, and a new world auction record for the artist. Created during his fabled ‘Shoreham period’, the present work is an extremely fine example of Palmer’s monochrome drawings, with other such works housed in the collections of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, the Tate Britain and the British Museum in London.

Gregory Rubinstein, Head of Sotheby’s Old Master Drawings Department, commented: “We are thrilled with the results achieved by the Barnet Collection, which presented collectors with the opportunity to acquire drawings of the highest quality and beauty. These results demonstrate the market’s understandable enthusiasm for museum-quality, fresh-to-market material, as was the case with the record-breaking Samuel Palmer drawing that led the auction. It’s incredibly rare for such a collection to appear at auction, and it’s been a joy to have worked on it from start to finish. Rarely, if ever, have I seen a more perfectly chosen collection, in any category.”

The Otto Naumann Sale Auction Total: $6.2 Million

Frederic, Lord Leighton, The Sluggard (est. £18,000-25,000) (i)
Yves Klein, Venus Bleue (S41), blue pigment and synthetic resin on plaster, conceived in 1962 and executed posthumously in 1982 (est. £50,000-70,000)

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  • Lot 10 Francesco Barzaghi, Phryné (est. £400,000-600,000)
    Lot 10 Francesco Barzaghi, Phryné (est. £400,000-600,000)
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
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    Francis Picabia, Les baigneuses, femmes nues bord de mer, oil on card, 1941 (est. £400,000-600,000)
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Pablo Picasso, Homme et femme nus, brush and ink, wash and pencil on paper, 29th November 1971 (est. £250,000-350,000)
    Pablo Picasso, Homme et femme nus, brush and ink, wash and pencil on paper, 29th November 1971 (est. £250,000-350,000)
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • A Roman Terracotta Plaque with Brothel Scene, circa 1st Century A.D. (est. £20,000- 30,000)
    A Roman Terracotta Plaque with Brothel Scene, circa 1st Century A.D. (est. £20,000- 30,000)
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Jacopo Amigoni, Venus and Adonis, oil on canvas (est. £300,000-500,000)
    Jacopo Amigoni, Venus and Adonis, oil on canvas (est. £300,000-500,000)
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Richard Avedon, Nastassja Kinski and the Serpent, Los Angeles, California, 1981, oversized silver print (est. £50,000-70,000)
    Richard Avedon, Nastassja Kinski and the Serpent, Los Angeles, California, 1981, oversized silver print (est. £50,000-70,000)
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus