Christie’s evening auction of Old Master & British Paintings realised £21,858,250/ $35,803,814/ €26,382,908. The sale attracted buyers from 14 countries across 4 continents. The top price was paid for the most important rediscovery of a painting by Claude Lorrain (1600-1682) in more than a generation, The Embarkation of Saint Paula from the Smith collection at Hambleden Manor, Buckinghamshire, which realised £5,066,500/ $8,298,927/ €6,115,266, setting a world record price for the artist at auction (estimate: £3-5million, illustrated above).
Georgina Wilsenach, Head of Old Master & British Paintings at Christie’s London: “The strong and consistent bidding in this sale came from around the globe, continuing the trend of growing interest in Old Masters seen in recent years. Each season we welcome a greater number of collectors to our field, with new buyers from growth markets adding to an already rich group of long standing collectors from Europe and America. We are very pleased that Christie’s increased presence in South America, Russia and Asia, particularly China, continues to build interest in Old Masters on a truly international stage. This is evident in the active bidding and 10 record prices achieved for paintings across the French, Flemish, Dutch, Italian and British schools.”