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A rare oil sketch by Rembrandt, Study of a Head of a Young Man (c.1650), sold for £9,480,800 at Sotheby’s Old Masters Evening Sale on 5 December. Appearing on the market for the first time in 60 years, the 17th-century masterpiece left its estimate of £6-8 million far behind at Sotheby’s London auction house. A touching portrait of Christ, the painting until recently hung in the Dutch master’s house in Amsterdam. Interest in the work...

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A week of impressive Russian art sales at Sotheby’s concluded on Wednesday (28 November 2018), realising a combined total of £23 million. All three sales reached totals above their pre-sale estimates, but the Russian Pictures sale alone raised £13.4 million and set two artist records. The first, for Konstantin Makovsky—whose epic canvas Blind Man’s Bluff (c.1839-1915) sold for £4.3 million. The second, for Georgian primitive painter, Niko Pirosmani. Georgian Woman Wearing A Lechaki tripled its...

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Experts believe they have found Rembrandt’s fingerprints while examining and restoring a rare oil sketch by the Dutch master. The prints, which were pressed into wet paint, are impressions of the artist’s thumb. They were found hidden underneath overpaint and darkened varnish layers. Study of a Head of a Young Man (c.1650), the painting in question, will be the highlight of the upcoming Old Masters Evening Sale held by Sotheby’s on 5 December. The 17th-century...

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Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction concluded in New York with an increase of 16.9 percent over the same sale in 2017. The auction was led by Gerhard Richter’s extraordinary Abstraktes Bild (1987)—which sold for $32 million. Measuring over 100 inches in both height and weight, only five of the 18 works from this period in Richter’s career remain in private hands. After the contemporary art auction on 14 November, Sotheby’s now holds the top five...

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Unseen by the public for two centuries, Marie Antoinette’s diamonds and pearls went under Sotheby’s hammer as part of one of the most important royal jewellery collections ever to come to auction. The auction took place in the Swiss city of Geneva on Thursday 15 November and, out of more than 100 lots, included 10 breathtaking treasures that belonged to the ill-fated Queen of France. The major collection—held by the Italian royal House of Bourbon-Parma...

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Sotheby’s Evening Sale of Impressionist & Modern Art saw René Magritte’s portrait of patron Edward James, Le Principe du Plaisir (The Principle of Pleasure) (1937), fetch $26.9 million—a new world auction record for the artist. The portrait of one of the most influential patrons of surrealist art—introduced to Magritte by Salvador Dalí in 1937—well exceeded its highest pre-sale estimate of $20 million, after a bidding battle between seven collectors. Commissioned by James himself, the work...

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On 14 November, Sotheby’s will present A Street (1926) and Calla Lillies on Red (1928) by Georgia O’Keeffe in a Contemporary Art Evening Auction for the first time. The stunning Cottonwood Tree in Spring (1943) will also be featured at the American Art Auction, taking place on 16 November. Succeeding the sale of Georgia O’Keeffe’s iconic flower painting Jimson Weed/White Flower No.1 (1932), Sotheby’s will again be offering significant works by the modernist artist to...

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On 27 February 2019, Christie’s auction house will offer Le Lieu Commun (1964), one of the iconic ‘bowler hat’ Magritte masterpieces. Leading The Art of the Surreal sale, the painting is estimated to fetch between £15-25 million and is expected to set a new world auction record for the artist. This is the first time the work of art—which is considered to be one of the finest and largest examples of René Magritte’s bowler hat...

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The Moon of Baroda diamond—famously worn by Maharajas and Marilyn Monroe—will be auctioned by Christie’s on 27 November. In 1953 it was donned by Monroe when she sang the iconic song, Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend whilst promoting the Howard Hawks film, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953). Iconic Hollywood royalty, Marilyn Monroe reportedly exclaimed: ‘It’s gorgeous!’ upon setting eyes on the stone—it was the largest diamond she ever wore in her lifetime. A rich history...

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Sotheby’s sold a rare Iznik charger (c.1480) for £5.35 million, breaking a record for a piece of Iznik pottery and establishing one of the highest prices for an Islamic work of art. The charger, one of the most important pieces of Ottoman Iznik pottery remaining in private hands, was offered as part of Sotheby’s Arts of the Islamic World auction in London. Originally estimated to fetch between £300,000-500,000, the exceptional piece drew in considerable interest...

Unique in its broad international coverage of both arts and cultural events, Arts & Collections covers fine art from antiquity to modern times, auction records, a special sale preview by Sotheby’s, as well as market trends that inform collectors of the world’s finest items.

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