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.
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).
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.