Saturday, May 31, 2008







Finnish artist Helen Schjerfbeck’s The Dancing Shoes was hotly contested and eventually sold - to a round of applause - for £3,044,500, against an estimate of £500,000-700,000. This was a new record for the artist at auction and also a new record for a work by any Finnish artist at auction. © Sotheby's Images.

LONDON.- Sotheby’s had successful sales of 19th Century European Paintings (which includes German, Austrian & Central European Paintings), Orientalist Art and Scandinavian Art at Sotheby’s in London. The series of sales brought a combined total of £19,518,450, a sum well towards the upper end of pre-sale expectations (£14,761,000-21,174,000) and new auction records were set across the board.

This morning’s Orientalist Sale realised £8,060,225 (pre-sale estimate was £6,201,000-8,613,000) and the cornerstone of the sale was a monumental masterpiece by the pre-eminent Turkish artist Osman Hamdy Bey entitled A Lady of Constantinople which sold to a private collector for £3,380,500. This was the highest price of the day and also a sum which not only represented a new record for the artist at auction but also set a record for any Turkish painting at auction.

The Scandinavian Sale achieved £5,192,900 (pre-sale estimate was £3,257,000-4,744,000) and this sale was led by a seminal work by the Finnish artist Helen Schjerfbeck, entitled The Dancing Shoes. The Dancing Shoes was hotly contested and eventually sold - to a round of applause - for £3,044,500, against an estimate of £500,000-700,000. This was a new record for the artist at auction and also a new record for a work by any Finnish artist at auction.

The German, Austrian and Central European Sale also performed well achieving £3,746,250 (pre-sale estimate was £2,573,000-3,830,000) and the star lot among this group was Joseph Anton Koch’s Heroic Landscape with Rainbow, which brought £1,812,500 – a new auction record for the artist. This painting was purchased by Konrad Bernheimer for Colnaghi.

The various 19th Century European Paintings section of the sale brought £2,519,075 (pre-sale estimate was £2,730,000-3,987,000).

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