'The Christ child and St John the Baptist' by Rubens workshop – €720,000 (£654,545) at Dorotheum.

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The 3ft 8in x 4ft 11in (1.1 x 1.5m) oil on canvas depicting the Christ child and the infant St John the Baptist is known as ‘The Spinola Rubens’ after the Genoese aristocratic family in whose collection it was in from the 17th-19th centuries.

It subsequently appeared in a raft of other collections in Europe, the UK and the US, mostly as a work by Rubens.

When it last went under the hammer in 2011 at Dorotheum as a Peter Paul Rubens and workshop painting, it realised €450,000. This time it sold for €720,000 (£654,545) against a guide of €350,00-450,000.

Cover star


A 15th century Italian painted panel serving as a cassone front – €320,000 (£290,910) at Dorotheum.

The catalogue cover lot was a much earlier piece, a tempera, oil and gold 15th century Florentine school painting from the front of a cassone or nuptial chest decorated with a continuous narrative detailing scenes from the story of the Trajan and the Widow or the Justice of Trajan, the Roman Emperor.

The panel was formerly part of the collection of John, 2nd Earl of Ashburham (1724-1812), passing down by descent through the family until sold at auction at Sotheby’s in 1953.

The vendor at Dorotheum acquired the work in 2007 from a sale at Christie’s.

The panel measures 2ft 1in x 5ft 11in (63cm x 1.8m) overall including its original integral setting of fluted pilasters and silver gilt entablatures and may well have originally been one of a pair of cassone.

It was offered in Vienna with an estimate of €180,000-220,00 and sold for €320,00 (£290,910).