19th Century European Paintings Total £12.1 M

Sotheby’s Sale of 19th century European paintings, including the Spanish sale, today achieved a total of £12,121,760, with newly-discovered works handsomely exceeding their pre-sale estimates, and with works by Spanish artist Joaquin Sorolla and Italian artist Telemaco Signorini shattering existing world auction records.

Chief among the highlights of the day, Sorolla’s potent La Hora del Baño (The Bathing Hour) of 1904 easily outstripped the existing auction record for the artist (£1,815,000 hammer, established at Sotheby’s in London in 1990) when it sold to a determined telephone bidder for £3,701,600. The result elicited excited applause from a packed saleroom, and the applause was later repeated when Signorini’s powerful work, The Barge Haulers sold for another record price of £2,805,600 against an estimate of £180,000-£250,000. nbsp;

Adrian Biddell, auctioneer and specialist in charge of the sale, said “This was an immensely exciting sale to take. It was a full room, with a very active bank of telephones. The results for the Sorollas, including a new world record price for the artist, provided emphatic evidence of the depth and breadth of this artist’s market. Equally, the result achieved for Signorini’s Barge Haulers and Osman Hamdy-Bey’s The Prayer, provided a clear measure of the ever-growing appeal of 19th century European paintings to a global audience.”

Among the Spanish works in the sale, interest in works by Valencian artist Joaquín Sorolla was particularly strong. Aside from Sorolla’s La Hora del Baño, other works by Sorolla also performed well: Niña Comiendo Manzanas (Young Girl Eating Apples), a charming early work by the artist, sold early in the sale for £397,600; A bordo del Falucho (On the Deck) made £89,600 against a pre-sale estimate of £60,000-£80,000; a striking portrait, Laura de San Telmo, Bailando, made £252,000 against an estimate of £180,000-£250,000; and Barcas en la Playa, of 1909, handsomely exceeded its pre-sale estimate of £180,000-£250,000, making £319,200. In total, seven works by Sorolla raised a combined total of £4,846,400.

Auction records for three other Spanish artists were also achieved for Hermenegildo Anglada-Camara, Fernando Alvarez de Sotomayor, José Mongrell, and Joaquín Sunyer. Among these, Hermenegildo Anglada-Camara’s extremely decorative work, La Gata Rosa handsomely exceeded both its pre-sale estimate (of £150,000-£200,000) and the existing record for the artist ($671,891, achieved at Sotheby’s, Madrid in 1990) when it sold for £588,000 to a private American buyer. Meanwhile, Fiesta de Santa Filomena, Buño by Galician artist Fernando Alvarez de Sotomayor, doubled its top estimate and shattered the existing record for the artist when it sold for £140,000. Finally, Joaquín Sunyer’s Montanas de Sitges established a new auction record for the artist when it sold for £140,000, easily outstripping the existing record of $85,000. Estimated at £80,000-£120,000, Mujeres con Flores (Women with Florwers) a fine and colourful work by Valencian artist José Mongrell sold for £89,600.

Elsewhere in the sale, a newly discovered work by the Turkish artist Osman Hamdy Bey exceeded all expectations when it sold for £252,000 against an estimate of £100,000-£150,000. Other works of Turkish interest also performed well: L’Imbarcazione, Constantinopoli, by Italian artist Fausto Zonaro made £212,800 against an estimate of £40,000-£60,000; and Bathing in the Bosphorus, attributed to Hubert Sattler, made £42,000 against an estimate of £18,000-£20,000.

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Published in: on November 21, 2003 at 1:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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