auction house, and a huge victory for the market for Victorian art. A total of 87.6% of the lots sold for a grand total of £4,620,071 against an estimate of £4.1-6.2 million brining the sold by value percentage to 77.6%. Most impressively, a total of at least fourteen new artist auction records were established the most impressive of which was achieved for Sophie Anderson whose ‘No Walk Today’ fetched just over £1 million against an estimate of £600,000-800,000. New auction records were also set for William Dyce, John Calcott Horsley, William Somerville Shanks and Thomas Sword Good among others. A total of 280 bidders took part in the sale many of whom were European collectors and investors which is unusual for a genre that would usually only attract British collectors. Considering the importance of the collection and the provenance of the paintings, however, it is not that surprising that many of the works were purchased by Europeans.
After the sale Ford is quoted as having said Commenting on the sale, Grant Ford, Senior Director and Head of Victorian Art at Sotheby’s, said: “This historic collection has attracted an enormous amount of attention from collectors all over the world but especially from our established clients in the UK. As many of the paintings had not been seen in public for several decades and were in a wonderfully fresh condition, a great deal of excitement was generated. We haven’t seen the galleries and saleroom – here in London particularly – as full and busy for a Victorian picture sale in many years. We are absolutely delighted with the new world record price for Sophie Anderson, which fully establishes No Walk Today as one of the most important childhood subjects of its time, and we’re also thrilled and heartened by the many other world record prices achieved. Today’s results are a testament to the discerning eye of two individuals who were collectors in the very truest sense.”
To be continued…
The Rise of Victorian Paintings Pt. 6 – artmarketblog.com
There is no doubt that provenance played a major part in the successful sale of the major private collections of Victorian paintings that I have mentioned in this series of posts, which means that the sale of these collections should not be used as an indication of the overall health of the market for Victorian paintings. The reason that I spent so much time analysing these sales is because they have played an important part in what is a slow but steady increase in the recognition and respect that Victorian painters are receiving. Although the extent to which the market for Victorian era art has improved is not as stellar as the figures achieved for the major private collections may suggest, the fact that many previously overlooked artists were given some long overdue attention, and works by more well known Victorian painters were the focus of competitive bidding, is proof that the market for Victorian paintings is heading in the right direction.