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Christie’s British Art – London

December 24, 2019
Sir William Russell Flint's The Judgment of Paris

Sir William Russell Flint’s The Judgment of Paris

On the morning of December 12, Christie’s presented their selection of Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist paintings… many of the fresher works did pretty well.

Sir Alfred Munnings's The White Canoe

Sir Alfred Munnings’s The White Canoe

Coming in first was Sir William Russell Flint’s The Judgment of Paris which sported a £150-250K estimate and sold for £407K with premium (w/p).  The painting was purchased by the seller (J.E. Safra) in 1993 for £65K.  Sir Alfred Munnings’s The White Canoe achieved a price of £371K w/p on a £300-500K estimate … this painting was last on the market in 1999.  And Grimshaw’s Whitby at Night brought £299K w/p (est. £250-350K).  Rounding out the top five were a beautiful portrait by Philip Alexius de Laszlo which carried a £20-30K estimate and sold for £275K w/p (this painting had been in the same family since it was painted in 1910), and Godward’s Winding Wool in a Pompeian Garden that made £250K w/p (est. £200-300K).

Grimshaw's Whitby at Night

Grimshaw’s Whitby at Night

Among the other strong prices were Burne-Jones’s St. Dorothy – £125K (est. £40-60K), Cowper’s Rapunzel Sings from the Tower – £178K (est. £60-80K); de Morgan’s The Wandering Jew – £125K (est. £40-60K), Millais’ Portrait of Dorothy Lawson – £150K (est. £70-100K), E.B. Leighton’s Straying Thoughts£27.5K (est. £7-10K), and G.G. Kilburne’s A Seated Girl, Holding a Tennis Racquet – £9.4K (est. £800-1,200).

There were just two big ones that failed to find buyers,  Burne-Jones’s drawing Spes and Daphne (£200-300K), and Munnings’s Through the Gap (£250-350K).  Not too bad.

By the end of the session, of the 95 lots offered, 73 sold (76.8%), and the total hit £4.12M ($5.56M) which was above the low end of their estimate range – £3.16M/$4.26M. of the 73 sold works, 27 were below, 25 within, and 21 above their estimate which left them with an accuracy rate of 26.3% — better than many similar sales.