In the afternoon of July 11, Sotheby’s presented their group of Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art, and it was a bumpy ride (w/p – with premium).
Taking the top spot was a tiny J.J.J. Tissot (10 x 13 inches) titled Room Overlooking the Harbour. Estimated to bring £400-600K, the painting hammered at the low end – £400K/$502K (£495K/$621K w/p). What I do find very interesting, is that the results for this work are no longer listed in the art database we use. Wonder how the buyer managed that? Coming in a strong second was Pyrallis, a beautiful painting by J.W. Godward, that carried a £100-150K estimate and hammered at £215K/$270K (£269K/$337K w/p); and in third we had another very strong showing – Alma-Tadema’s tiny (7.75 x 5.75 inches) Expectation was expected to bring £15-20K and when the battle was over, it hammered at £140K/$176K (£175K/$220K).
There were a couple of additional works that brought in strong prices. A study of feet by Burne-Jones crushed its £2-3K estimate when it sold for £25K/$31K. Simeon Solomon’s Potens fetched £19K/$23.5K (est. £6-8K), and Fortescue-Brickdale’s The Cap that Fits made £25K/$31K (est. £6-8K). Among the works that failed to attract interest were J.W. Godward’s An Edition de Luxe (est. £450-650K) – this was also the lot which carried the highest estimate in the sale. Additionally Seago’s Salthouse (est. £50-70K), Tissot’s Kathleen Newton in a Thames-Side Tavern (est. £30-50K), and Leighton’s The Mountains of Asia Minor, from Rhodes (est. £30-50K) failed to find buyers.
By the end of this small sale, of the 82 works offered, 62 sold (63.4% sell-through rate), and the total take was £1.96M/$2.46M (w/p). The low end of their estimate range was £2.11M, so even with the buyer’s premium added in, they fell short.