International Art Market: Rare Dutch painting breathes life into sales

AMERICAN collectors recovered their joie de vivre in January as the New York auction rooms held the first significant art sales of 1993.

Alfred Bader, of Milwaukee, an Austrian chemist who has made a fortune in the United States, was chortling after spending dollars 607,500 ( pounds 421,875) on a miraculously preserved Crucifixion by Jacob van Oostanen dated 1507 which Sotheby's had estimated at dollars 250,000- dollars 350,000 ( pounds 173,611- pounds 243,055).

Van Oostanen was the first significant artist to work in Amsterdam, a founding father of the Dutch school; the rarity and significance of the picture did not escape Dr Bader, who has been collecting and dealing in art for more than 20 years. He also bid up to dollars 1.7m ( pounds 1.18m) on a half-length portrait of the musician Jacob Obrecht that was dated 1494 and attributed by Sotheby's to the school of Bruges; intensive research had not yielded any definite name of an artist to whom the picture could be attributed.

Dr Bader missed the portrait, which ended up selling for dollars 2,422,500 ( pounds 1,682,292) to the Kimbell Museum of Fort Worth, Texas; Sotheby's had estimated the painting at dollars 400,000-dollars 600,000 ( pounds 277,777- pounds 416,666).

Italian dealers and collectors who dominated the Old Master picture sales in 1992 were conspicuous by their absence. New anti-Mafia legislation in Italy which requires banks to monitor the movement of large sums has discouraged the collectors who habitually used art to hide their money. But it has not, apparently, affected the lower echelons of the market. The sales of European works of art and furniture owed their success to an army of Italian dealers.

The visual curiosity of the sales was the Italian enthusiasm for Medieval and Renaissance-style furniture which a previous generation of Italians had faked up to catch American buyers. Museums acquired such furniture in bulk around 1900-1930 to go with their Italian Primitives, made fashionable by the scholar Bernard Berenson. Now the museums are sending the furniture back to the auction rooms and it is being lapped up by Italian dealers. Sotheby's got dollars 74,000 ( pounds 51,388) (estimate dollars 10,000- dollars 15,000 ( pounds 6,944- pounds 10,416)) for a Florentine, partially gilt, walnut refectory table, bits of which may have been old. The St Louis Art Museum sent it for sale.

Most of Christie's pieces came from the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas, including a Spanish baroque velvet-covered coffer-on- stand - significantly undated by the sale catalogue - at dollars 9,900 ( pounds 6,428) (estimate dollars 3,000-dollars 4,000 ( pounds 2,142- pounds 2,857)). Kansas was having a big clear-out. There were a lot of the museum's paintings at Sotheby's including a 17th-century picture of peasants feasting outside a tavern by David Vinckboons which made dollars 134,500 ( pounds 960,714) against an estimate of dollars 20,000- dollars 30,000 ( pounds 14,285- pounds 21,428). Maybe it was a little better than the sellers thought.

The Yale University Art Gallery also received a pleasant surprise when a pair of English bookcases dating from the late 17th century, which had come to them from a benefactor, sold for dollars 385,000 ( pounds 275,000).

The design, which places a series of shelves with glazed doors over a wider, squat shelf with sliding glass doors, was first used by Samuel Pepys, the diarist, when he was clerk to the Navy Board. The bookcases at Christie's were made for his successor, Charles Sergison, who had three bookshelves made on the Pepys model; Chistie's sold his other one in London in 1981 for pounds 50,600 (dollars 96,645).

Euphoria greeted Jean and Kenneth Chorley's collection of early English pottery. The top price was dollars 165,000 ( pounds 114,583) paid by an unnamed American collector for a Lambeth Delft saltcellar of c1680.

(Photograph omitted)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
people
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
people
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Java Developer - 1 year contract

£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

Junior Analyst - Graduate - 6 Month fixed term contract

£17000 - £20000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

SAS Business Analyst - Credit Risk - Retail Banking

£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Business Analyst, London, Banking, Credit Ris...

Project Manager - Pensions

£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone