A Restituted Collection at Christie’s

Auction house Christie’s will put up for sale several dozens of artworks created by prominent West European painters through XVI–XVIII centuries. All the auctioned pictures are the property of a United States citizen Marei von Saher. Under the court order, in February 2006 the Dutch government restituted 200 paintings looted by the Nazis in the mid XX century to Von Saher. The complete list of auctioned pieces is yet undefined; however, the ones that will be put up for sale are estimated at quite impressive $22,000,000–35,000,000.

Such a precedent has already taken place. In 2006, Christie’s set a number of price records selling collection of an American citizen Maria Altman. Earlier, the Austrian government under the court order had restituted several paintings by Gustav Klimt to the latter. One of Klimt’s masterpieces was hammered at a Christie’s auction for staggering $80,000,000.

Marie Von Saher is daughter-in-law and the only heir to Dutch art dealer Jacques Goudstikker, a gallery owner who fled the advancing Nazis. Goudstikker abandoned 1,400 artworks when he escaped the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands in 1940. He took with him a black notebook recording over 1,000 of the pictures. Hermann Goering looted the gallery weeks later. The paintings were recovered from Germany after the war and incorporated into the Dutch National Art Collection. In February 2006, the Netherlands restituted 200 paintings looted by the Nazis to Von Saher.

The coming Christie’s auction will consist of three sessions, taking place in New York (April 2007), London (July 2007), and Amsterdam (November 2007). The top-lots of the important sale will be a landscape by Solomon van Ruisdal (estimate $3,000,000–5,000,000), a forest landscape by Philips Koninck (estimate $1,500,000–2,000,000) and a portrait by Ferspronk (estimate $700,000–1,000,000).

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Published in: on April 10, 2007 at 12:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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