No fewer than nine international bidders competed for a rare floral still-life by the female artist Maria van Oosterwyck (1630-93) at a sale held by Ivoire Troyes (24% buyer’s premium).
A painter of the Dutch golden age, she was well regarded by her contemporaries, despite the fact that as a woman she was excluded from the guild of artists. Van Oosterwyck received commissions from Louis XIV, Emperor Leopold of Austria, the king of Poland and William III of England.
The 3ft 3in x 2ft 7in (1m x 78cm) canvas depicts a rich profusion of botanically identifiable flowers, not all of which would have bloomed at the same time of year, along with butterflies and other insects.
The painting also features a smaller still-life arrangement of exotic shells to the lower-left corner on the ledge where the vase stands and where the artist has signed the painting.
Bidders from New York, London, Berlin, Madrid, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy competed to secure the painting, which had been guided at €100,000-150,000 on March 26 in the auction held at the Hôtel des Ventes de Troyes. The hammer fell at €650,000 (£560,345) to a European collector.
The price is the second highest at auction for a work by this artist after the $1.2m (£755,160) paid for another floral still-life in the sale of Old Master and 19th century paintings from the Safra collection sold by Sotheby’s New York in January 2011 (source: Artprice by Artmarket).
In Bordeaux the following day Briscadieu (23% buyer’s premium) sold a small painting on copper by the Italian artist Ludovico Carraci (1555-1616) of the Adoration of the Magi.
Carraci worked nearly all of his life in Bologna. This 14 x 10¼in (36 x 26cm) unpublished panel is a reprise of part of a large altarpiece that Ludovico and his cousin Agostino Carraci painted for the Gessi chapel in the city’s Church of San Bartolomeo di Reno (also known as Santa Maria della Pioggia). On the altarpiece, which was damaged in the Second World War, Agostino painted the central part while Ludovico was responsible for the sides.
The copper panel had remained in the same family since the early 20th century and sold for €205,000 (£176,725) against an estimate of €100,000-150,000.
The ceramics in this sale featured an early 19th century Sèvres plate painted with a portrait of another member of the Carraci family, Annibale, who was also Ludovico’s cousin.
The plate, which was previewed in ATG No 2485, is part of a 1819 supplement to the Service Iconograpique Italien ordered by Napoleon. It sold for a premium-inclusive €8200 (£7070) against an estimate of €2000-3000.
The Old Master paintings in the Bordeaux sale also included a work by the German-born Dutch marine artist Ludolf Backhuysen (1630-1708) depicting shipping in a stormy sea which was signed on the main ship’s flag Ludolph.Backh. The 17 x 23in (44 x 58cm) canvas realised €140,000 (£120,690).
£1 = €1.16