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Size Does Not Always Matter

July 9, 2021

sketch of a bear's head by Leonardo da VinciChristie’s London celebrated the classics this week as they auctioned antiquities through 20th-century works of art and an assortment of other objects. A highlight of Classic Week  was included in their Exceptional Sale, which focused on European decorative arts as well as ‘masterpieces’ from various antiques categories.  A drawing by Leonardo Da Vinci led the sale; it is thought to have been executed around 1480 and is one of only eight known drawings in private hands.  The small study of a bear’s head is slightly smaller than a Post-it Note, a mere 2 ¾ x 2 ¾ inches, but packed a powerful punch with an estimate of £8-12M ($11.2 -16.9M).

While it fell shy of the estimate, it hammered down at £7.5M ($10.3M -£8.85M/$12.2M w/p) to a single bidder in the saleroom, that is still a far cry from when the drawing sold at Christie’s in 1860 for £2.50.  And if you are one of those people who try to value a work based on size, that works out to $1,586,776.86 per square inch!