July 11th was a busy day for the London salerooms; between Sotheby’s and Christie’s there was a total of three 19th-century sales. At 10:30 am, Christie’s presented their British Art: Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art, and the results were pretty strong (unless otherwise noted, all prices are hammer — w/p = with premium).
Taking the top position here was Munnings’s The Bramham Moor Hounds at Weeton Whin, which carried a £1.5-2M estimate and hammered for £1.8M/$2.26M (£2.17M/$2.7M – w/p). Coming in a distant second was Burne-Jones’s Astrologia at £380K/$477K (£467K/$586K – w/p), on a £400-600K estimate, and closely behind was Rossetti’s Maria Stillman, nee Spatali at £340K/$427K (£419K/$526K – w/p) – easily beating its £150-250K estimate. Rounding out the top five were Munnings’s The Green Waggon at £270K/$339K (est. £300-500K), and Waterhouse’s Study for ‘Phyllis and Demophoon’ which made £220/$276K (est. £150-250K).
Other works that performed very well were Burne-Jones’s The Guardian Angel (£85K/$107K – est. £30-50K), Godward’s Memories, a Study (£45K/$56K – est. £20-30K), G.D. Leslie’s Fortunes (£190K/$238K – est. £100-150K), Marcus Stone’s In the Garden (£55K/$69K – est. £15-25K), and Hayllar’s Apple Blossom (£40K/$50K – est. £10-15K). On the other side, there were just a few pricier works that did not find new homes – included was Burne-Jones’s Head of a Young Girl; Study for ‘Hope’ (est. £50-70K), and his Head of a Young Man: Study for ‘Perseus’ (est. £40-60K), Blinks’s A Pointer and Two Setters (£70-100K), and J.J. Shannon’s Estelle (£est. 60-100K).
Overall, this was a pretty well performing summer sale. Of the 142 lots in the catalog, 1 was withdrawn, and 34 went unsold, leaving them with an impressive sell-through rate of 76% (very strong for a British Victorian sale). The low end of their presale estimate range was £5.13M and the total take (w/p) was £7.19M/$9M … now that was nice to see!