Old Masters

Traditionally this sector is defined as works by master painters working in Europe from before 1800. It includes Renaissance artists and Dutch Golden Age painters for example. Today Old Master auctions in London and New York will include works by British artists as well as some 19th century works.


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Speed dating: Bidders rapidly assess signs of age in hunt for undervalued material

14 September 2020

When it comes to Old Masters, sleeper spotters will trawl through auction catalogues looking to spot works of an earlier date than specified.

Capriccio by Sebastiano Ricci and Clemente Sper

Auction house Christie’s to sell Old Masters from collection of late Italian dealer

08 September 2020

Christie’s is staging an online auction of works formerly in the collection of the late Old Master dealer Piero Corsini.

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All about information sharing

31 August 2020

Wider spectrum of buyers means presenting catalogue entries in greater detail can pay off

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Old Master canine portrait makes over 100-times estimate at Tennants

31 August 2020

Two pictures with animal appeal generated decent bidding at a North Yorkshire auction.

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Bonhams sticks to early offering

24 August 2020

While Sotheby’s and Christie’s shifted their main Old Master offerings to the end of July, Bonhams (27.5/25/20/13.9% buyer’s premium) maintained its auction earlier in the month with a sale in New Bond Street on July 7-8.

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Even Old Masters have to wait

24 August 2020

Leading works held back until mixed-category July auctions in a drawn-out sales season.

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Ribeira rediscovered in house draws strong competition in Paris

10 August 2020

Early work by Spanish-born painter was identified by Old Master experts Cabinet Turquin

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Portrait of man in a beret from professor’s collection brings a surprise sum

10 August 2020

An unexpectedly high price was paid in a sale of Old Master paintings and drawings held this summer by auction house Aguttes (23/25% buyer’s premium plus VAT) in Neuilly-sur-Seine.

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Dutch winter scene among works offered at Richard Green’s exhibition

10 August 2020

This winter village landscape showing peasants on a frozen waterway is among the works on offer at Richard Green’s exhibition Cabinet Paintings.

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Individual highlights at London 'high season' sales but totals hit as vendors hang on to works

03 August 2020

The ‘high season’ of summer auctions in London held by Sotheby’s and Christie’s generated £205.8m including premium last week.

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Clouds lift for a Constable fan

03 August 2020

Four pictures in Colchester sale provide a good case study in the factors affecting John Constable attributions and buyer confidence

Mary Queen of Scots prayerbook

Mary Queen of Scots' prayer book sells at Christie’s Classic sale

30 July 2020

A prayer book that once belonged to Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-87) sold at Christie’s Classic Art evening sale in London.

Rembrandt self-portrait

Rembrandt self-portrait bid to £12.6m at Sotheby’s

29 July 2020

A self-portrait by Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69) was knocked down for £12.6m at Sotheby’s latest live-streamed cross-category evening sale in London.

Jacob de Gheyn the Younger drawing

Huge bidding battle as rediscovered Old Master military drawings take £125,000 at Sworders

27 July 2020

A sensational competition emerged at Essex saleroom Sworders this week as a pair of Old Master drawings attracted 12 phone bidders as well as internet interest.

Bernardo Bellotto's view of Dresden

Sotheby’s to offer restituted view of Dresden acquired by Hitler's art dealer

21 July 2020

An Old Master painting restored to the family of its original Jewish owner will be offered at Sotheby’s next week with an estimate of £3m-4m.

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Swiss painter admired by van Gogh now sought after by collectors

20 July 2020

In a letter to his brother, written in 1883, Vincent van Gogh expressed his admiration for the Swiss painter Albert Anker.

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Another Batoni emerges from the wilderness

20 July 2020

Among the most important clients of the 18th century artist Pompeo Batoni was Domenico Orsini, Duke of Gravina, who went on to become Cardinal Domenico Amedeo Orsini d’Arago.

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Rubens among highlights of Christie’s July evening auction

15 July 2020

Christie’s will offer a work attributed to Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) during its ‘Classic month’ series of sales in London.

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How Old Master estimates work when it comes to loosely ascribed paintings

13 July 2020

Pitching a work at the right level is crucial to demand and price when it comes to selling unattributed or loosely ascribed Old Masters at auction.

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The web shop window: 18th century oil painting of Parliament

06 July 2020

Thousands of items are available to buy from dealers online. Here we pick out one that caught our eye this week.

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