US: OVERLOOKED in our recent report on the New York Old Master sales, this Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806) oil sketch for a much-admired, but now lost painting of The Visitation is worth putting on the record after it fetched an upper estimate $280,000 (£197,185) at the New York rooms of Doyle’s (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) on January 24.
The unsigned panel painting, measuring 91/2 by 13in (24 x 33cm), was one of three known sketches for the composition, another of which had fetched $260,000 (£174,495) at Christie’s Lagerfield Collection sale in New York on May 23 last year.
This latest example to come on the market had been formerly owned by the major American collectors Irving Laughlin and Gertrude L. Chanler who, on her death in 1999, had bequeathed a number of significant works on paper to the National Gallery of Art, Washington.
Three bidders were interested on the day with an American dealer bidding on commission eventually prevailing.
Exchange rate: £1 = $1.42