Old Masters sales soar despite global woes

Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:44pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Bernard Orr

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sotheby's hopes that the fervent mood at an auction this week in London of important Old Master paintings will travel overseas when several rare art works will be auctioned next month.

The fragile state of the world economy didn't influence the few deep-pocketed art collectors who vied for rare 17th century masterpieces in the British capital on Wednesday.

Sotheby's sale of Old Master & British Paintings in London saw a new auction record set for Anthony van Dyck when his last self portrait soared above expectations and sold for


The portrait, hotly pursued by nine bidders, was the top-selling lot in a sale which raised $24,510,499, within pre-sale expectations.

Sotheby's December series of Old Master & British Paintings sales in London bought in $30,954,450.

In New York, Sotheby's will display several pieces for its Old Master week.

"The thing about the Old Masters market ... this market has been changing for five years. You are not able to sell everything on the market. But the high-quality, top-flight quality (pieces) will," George Wachter, co-chairman of Sotheby's Old Master Paintings Department, said in an interview.   Continued...