Published: June 10, 2008
A highlight of Sotheby’s successful Old Master paintings sale on May 7 was a hitherto unrecorded set of four landscapes representing “The Four Seasons” by the Flemish master Sebastiaen Vrancx (1578‱647). The paintings sold for $1.87 million †a world auction record for the artist and the second highest price ever fetched by an Old Master painting in the Netherlands.
The portrait of Maria Anna of Austria, Infanta of Spain, later Queen of Hungary, attributed to Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577‱640) and Studio realized $595,530, and a rare view in Amsterdam from circa 1685 by Gerrit Adriaensz Berckheyde (1638‱698), with the Great Synagogue and the Portuguese Synagogue, exceeded expectations at $465,342. An exquisitely rendered still life with a tulip, anemones, lily of the valley, a caterpillar and a butterfly by Jacob Marrel (1613/4‱681) did strikingly well and fetched $270,061, almost nine times the estimate.
A remarkable portrait of the “Lady with the two beards,” identified as Margret Halseber of Basel, by Willem Key (1515/6-1568) generated huge interest, selling for $158,472, tripling expectations.
The sale of 86 lots totaled $4.9 million, equaling the high estimate. It was 79 percent sold by value, 63.5 percent sold by lot.
Rounding out the sale’s top ten lots were Joost Cornelisz Droochsloot, “A village scene with peasants eating and drinking,” $93,378; Abraham Willaerts, “Shipping in a heavy storm on a rocky coast,” $84,079; Hans Bol, pair of landscapes, biblical and mythological, $74,780; Kerstiaen de Keuninck, panoramic mountainous landscape, $74,780; and Franciscus Gijsbrechts, trompe l’oeil with a painting of a vanitas still life, $71,061.
Prices reported include buyer’s premium. For information, +31 20 550 2200 or www.sothebys.com .
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