Published: December 15, 2016
LONDON — A sketch by John Constable sold for $1,079,557 at Bonhams’ Old Master Paintings sale December 8, setting a new world record at auction for a small-scale sketch (under 10 inches) by the artist. “Flatford Lock on the Stour looking towards Bridge Cottage,” a study by Constable for “Landscape: Boys Fishing,” had been estimated at less than a third of the selling price.
The preparatory sketch, which had been in a private collection in the United States for many years, was unknown to Constable scholars. Its re-emergence has been seen as a major contribution to establishing the genesis of the finished painting, “Landscape: Boys Fishing,” which is now in a poor state of preservation.
Bonhams’ Director of Old Master Painting Andrew McKenzie said, “There was a huge amount of pre-sale interest in ‘Flatford Lock on the Stour looking towards Bridge Cottage,’ reflected in an intense bidding war during the auction itself. Although the picture has undoubted art historical importance, it is first and foremost a beautiful painting — a Constable masterpiece in miniature – and I am not surprised that this exquisite work commanded such a high price.”
The price reported was converted at press time from British pounds and includes the buyer’s premium.
For more information, www.bonhams.com or +44 20 7447 7447.
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