OVER 600 lots of ‘Old Master through Contemporary Prints’ were offered by Swanns on May 6 and in the former category, Dürer and Rembrandt figured prominently among the higher priced lots.
A superb, well-inked Meder b impression of Dürer's well-known St. Eustace engraving of c.1501 that brought a bid of $80,000 (£45,200), while sold at $42,000 (£23,730) was a set of the 20 woodcuts that make up his Life of the Virgin. The set was produced in the years 1502-10, but while the cuts in this set, formerly in the collection of Friedrich August II, mostly bear a fish bladder watermark that Meder dates to c.1580, the impressions are strong and dark.
The best selling Rembrandt was a dark and richly inked, fifth state example of his 1635 etching and drypoint, The Great Jewish Bride, but the sale also included examples of the self portraits of which he was so fond. A fine impression of the third state of his 1639 Self Portrait in Velvet Cap and Plume sold for $46,000 (£25,990). The Corot self portrait, top right, is the first example seen at auction in 20 years of an 1858 cliché-verre, here printed in bistre, that sold for $24,000 (£13,560). Below right: A second state example of Toulouse-Lautrec's coloured lithograph, Au Moulin Rouge, la Gouloue et sa Soeur, from an 1892 edition of 100 on cream wove paper, that made $41,000 (£23,165).