One of the two 17th century German school pen and ink drawings that led Aguttes' online sale of Old Master drawings when they sold for €82,200 (£74,730).

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A whole raft of drawings sales was originally scheduled to take place in Paris in late March and early April to coincide with the Salon du Dessin fair.

But with Covid-19 restrictions meaning that the event and live auctions could not take place, most rooms chose to postpone their sales.

One specialist drawings auction that did go ahead was Old Masters at Aguttes (25/23% buyer’s premium), which migrated to online-only format and was held on April 3.

While not all the 211 lots offered found buyers, some strong results did emerge and one or two that were unexpected.

Biblical boon


One of the two 17th century German school pen and ink drawings that led Aguttes‘ April 3 online sale of Old Master drawings when they sold for €82,200 (£74,730).

Top of that list was a lot containing two pen and ink drawings measuring 9½ x 7in (24 x 18cm).

They depicted a scene from The Last Judgment and another from the story of Adam and Eve and were catalogued as 17th century German school with a modest estimate of €600-800.

The bidding soared to €82,200 (£74,730) so there must have been bidders who felt they had a better idea of what these might be.

The auction house said that some people were of the opinion that these drawings could be works by Dirk Crabeth (1501-74), a 16th century Dutch artist from Gouda, who was a draughtsman and a notable stained-glass painter, or one of his circle.

Military scene


A 16th century military scene in pen and ink attributed to Guilio Clovio – €15,190 (£13,810) at Aguttes.

There was also much more interest than predicted for an 11 x 14in (28 x 35cm) pen and ink drawing attributed to the 16th century artist Giulio Clovio (1498-1578).

He was born in Croatia but worked in Renaissance Italy, chiefly as a miniature painter.

Estimated at €400-600, this ended up making €15,190 (£13,810).

The large work, described simply as an historical military scene, featured half a dozen figures prominently shown the foreground with ranks of soldiers in the background.


Red chalk study attributed to Cavaliere d’Arpino – €12,900 (£11,730) at Aguttes.

Other top lots in the auction included a 7 x 4in (18 x 10cm) red chalk study of a warrior holding up a shield. The work was attributed to the Italian Mannerist artist Giuseppe Cesare, known as Cavaliere d’Arpino (1568-1640), that realised €12,900 (£11,730).

A mid-17th century 5 x 7½in (13 x 19cm) drawing by Willem Van der Velde the elder (1610-93) was monogrammed to the lower left.

Depicting sailing ships on a rough sea, this was a typically highly detailed marine study by the Dutch artist. It, too, made a multiple of its estimate, selling at €17,330 (£15,755) against a guide of €1800-2200.

Delacroix nude

From the 19th century works, a pencil drawing by Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863) of the back view of a seated nude woman attracted strong demand.

The 7 x 5in (18 x 13cm) drawing, which was initialled ED and dated October 10, sold for €9690 (£8810)against a €2000-3000 guide.

£1 = €1.10