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A Gold Ground Jewel and others at Christie’s Dec. 2012 Old Master sale – UPDATED with sale results

December 3, 2012
Lot 32. Paolo di Giovanni Fei (San Quirico, Castelvecchio, or Siena c. 1340/5-c. 1411)The Madonna and Child  tempera on panel, in an engaged frame  30½ x 20¼ in. (77.5 x 51.4 cm.)  Estimate: £700,000 - £1,000,000

Lot 32. Paolo di Giovanni Fei (San Quirico, Castelvecchio, or Siena c. 1340/5-c. 1411)
The Madonna and Child
tempera on panel, in an engaged frame
30½ x 20¼ in. (77.5 x 51.4 cm.)
Estimate: £700,000 – £1,000,000 This lot failed to sell

UPDATE – The top lot of the sale was the Jacob Jordaens The Meeting of Odysseus and Nausicaa, which sold to London-based Old Master dealer Johnny van Haeften, according to Bloomberg.

ORIGINAL POST – The December 2012 Old Masters sale at Christie’s doesn’t have nearly same number of high wattage (read highly priced) works as Sotheby’s, but it does have this beautiful Paolo di Giovanni Fei Madonna and Child.  The splendid coloration, beautiful treatment of the faces and glorious punch work more than makes up for some very weird physiognomy (the Christ child’s distorted right foot, for example).  This is a beautifully composed work by a respectable painter and should make a good number.

Another picture to watch is this Jacob Jordaens The Meeting of Odysseus and Nausicaa  – once the painting’s yellowed varnish is removed this painting should really glow.

Lot 18. Jacob Jordaens (Antwerp 1593-1678) The Meeting of Odysseus and Nausicaa  signed 'JOR·' (lower left)  oil on canvas  46¼ x 76 3/8 in. (117.5 x 194 cm.), including a 15 in. (38 cm.) original extension on the left  Estimate: £500,000 - £800,000

Lot 18. Jacob Jordaens (Antwerp 1593-1678)
The Meeting of Odysseus and Nausicaa
signed ‘JOR·’ (lower left)
oil on canvas
46¼ x 76 3/8 in. (117.5 x 194 cm.), including a 15 in. (38 cm.) original extension on the left
Estimate: £500,000 – £800,000. This lot sold for £2,057,250 ($3,297,772), inclusive of buyer’s premium.  

The sale catalogue includes the following information:

This alluring, unpublished painting by Jacob Jordaens depicts the meeting of Odysseus and Nausicaa on the island of Phaeacia as told by Homer in book 6 of the Odyssey. It is to be connected with the tapestry cycle of the Life of Odysseus designed by Jordaens about the middle of the 1630s. Nothing is known about the circumstances that gave rise to the series, of which nine designs — in one form or another — are known. Not all of these may have actually been woven, for only seven pieces have survived.

Coincidentally, Jean-Luc Baroni is currently offering Jordaens’ large scale cartoon of the same composition.

dup Screen Shot 2012-11-12 at 2.14.38 PM

Among the intriguing (weird) paintings is this oddity from the Herri Met de Bles/Joachim Patinir department.

Lot 2. Attributed to the Master of the Liège Disciples at Emmaus, Jan van Amstel? (active Antwerp, mid-16th century)A mountainous landscape with Leda and her hatchlings, Saint Antony Abbot and the Centaur beyond with the Herri Met de Bles owl device (lower centre) and inventory number '707' (lower left) oil on panel  16¼ x 22 1/8 in. (41 x 56.1 cm.)  Estimate: £70,000 - £100,000

Lot 2. Attributed to the Master of the Liège Disciples at Emmaus, Jan van Amstel? (active Antwerp, mid-16th century)
A mountainous landscape with Leda and her hatchlings, Saint Antony Abbot and the Centaur beyond
with the Herri Met de Bles owl device (lower centre) and inventory number ‘707’ (lower left)
oil on panel
16¼ x 22 1/8 in. (41 x 56.1 cm.)
Estimate: £70,000 – £100,000. This lot failed to sell.

A large scale Jan Brueghel II still life carries the sale’s highest estimate (which isn’t very high).

Lot 20. Jan Brueghel II (Antwerp 1601-1678) Lilies, irises, tulips, roses, orchids, primroses, peonies and other flowers in a sculpted vase decorated with the figures of Amphitrite and Ceres, with a branch of flowers, a stag beetle and other insects oil on panel  48½ x 37 in. (123.2 x 94 cm.)  Estimate: £1,000,000 - £1,500,000

Lot 20. Jan Brueghel II (Antwerp 1601-1678)
Lilies, irises, tulips, roses, orchids, primroses, peonies and other flowers in a sculpted vase decorated with the figures of Amphitrite and Ceres, with a branch of flowers, a stag beetle and other insects
oil on panel
48½ x 37 in. (123.2 x 94 cm.)
Estimate: £1,000,000 – £1,500,000. This lot sold for £1,049,250 ($1,681,948) inclusive of buyer’s premium.

I’m not sure how this Cignani will do – it clearly needs some TLC – but it’s the sort of oversized peculiarity that might attract some attention.

Lot 37. Carlo Cignani (Bologna 1628-1719 Forli) Hercules and Omphale  oil on canvas  55 7/8 x 81¼ in. (141.7 x 206.4 cm.)  Estimate: £120,000 - £180,000

Lot 37. Carlo Cignani (Bologna 1628-1719 Forli)
Hercules and Omphale
oil on canvas
55 7/8 x 81¼ in. (141.7 x 206.4 cm.)
Estimate: £120,000 – £180,000. This lot sold for £145,250 ($232,836) inclusive of buyer’s premium.

The cover lot is a modest work by Joseph Wright of Derby replete with his hot yellow lighting.

Lot 47. Joseph Wright of Derby (Derby 1734-1797) A Blacksmith's Shop  oil on canvas  30¼ x 25 3/8 in. (76.8 x 64.4 cm.)  Estimate: £400,000 - £600,000

Lot 47. Joseph Wright of Derby (Derby 1734-1797)
A Blacksmith’s Shop
oil on canvas
30¼ x 25 3/8 in. (76.8 x 64.4 cm.)
Estimate: £400,000 – £600,000. This lot sold for £914,850 ($1,466,505) inclusive of buyer’s premium.

Complete sale results here. The sale made a dismal £11,562,250.

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