A rare Botticelli drawing – titled Study for a Seated St Joseph, his head resting on his right hand – has sold for a record £1.3 million ($2.1 million) at Sotheby’s auction in London.
Created in the 1480s, the piece was the first drawing by the artist to be sold for a century.
Sotheby’s said it was highest price ever paid for a work on paper by the Renaissance master.
Botticelli’s Study for a Seated St Joseph, his head resting on his right hand has sold for a record $2.1 million at Sotheby’s auction in London (photo Sotheby’s)
The work was also believed to be the last of his drawings that remained in private hands.
The drawing came from the collection of late philanthropist Barbara Piasecka Johnson, the wife of Johnson and Johnson heir John Seward Johnson, who bought the artwork for $88,000 at a New York auction in 1988.
Study for a Seated St Joseph is believed to be the only drawing which can be clearly linked to one of Sandro Botticelli’s painted compositions.
The man depicted is a study for The Nativity with adoring St John the Baptist – a circular painting dating from the late 1480s which is at Buscot Park near Faringdon, Oxfordshire.
Aside from an album of illustrations for Dante’s Divine Comedy, there are only 12 surviving drawings by Botticelli – all but Study for a Seated St Joseph are in museums.
Study for a Seated St. Joseph, a rare Botticelli drawing, is to be sold at the Sotheby’s in London in July.
This is the first such drawing by Sandro Botticelli to be sold for a century.
Study for a Seated St. Joseph is believed to be the only drawing which can be clearly linked with one of Sandro Botticelli’s painted compositions (photo Sotheby’s)
The artwork is believed to be the only drawing which can be clearly linked with one of Sandro Botticelli’s painted compositions.
It is also thought to be the only drawing by Sandro Botticelli, created in the 1480s, in private hands.
It is estimated to fetch up to £1.5 million ($2.4 million) at the Sotheby’s auction on July 9.
Aside from an album of illustrations for Dante’s Divine Comedy, there are only 12 surviving drawings by Botticelli – all but Study for a Seated St. Joseph are in museums.
The artwork comes from the collection of philanthropist Barbara Piasecka Johnson, the wife of the late John Seward Johnson – the co-founder of the Johnson and Johnson medical and pharmaceutical firm.
James Bond’s submarine car used in The Spy Who Loved Me has been sold for £550,000 ($850,000).
The Lotus Esprit sold for less than the guide price despite a bidding war between a woman in the auction room and a telephone bidder who took the prized collector’s piece.
The car, said to be fully operational, was used in the underwater scene of the 1977 film starring Roger Moore as 007.
James Bond’s submarine car used in The Spy Who Loved Me has been sold for £550,000
After filming it toured various car shows before being stored in New York.
It was sold at RM Auctions in Battersea, south-west London, for less than the estimated price of between £650,000 ($1.1 million) and £950,000 ($1.5 million).
The car had previously been auctioned as a blind lot in 1989.
Peter Haynes, from the auction house, said: “Bearing in mind it is not a car that can be driven on the road, the price just goes to prove the draw that all Bond-related memorabilia has.”
Vladimir Tretchikoff’s Chinese Girl portrait, thought to be the world’s most reproduced painting, has fetched £982,050 ($1,570,000) at Bonhams auction in London.
The sum, which includes a 12% buyer’s premium, was around twice what had been predicted by auction house Bonhams.
It was thought the portrait of a young Chinese girl with green-hued skin and ruby lips would fetch up to £500,000 ($800,000).
It was bought by British businessman and jeweller Laurence Graff and will go on public display in South Africa.
According to a Bonhams representative, the Chinese Girl will be exhibited, alongside the rest of the diamond retailer’s art collection, at the Delaire Graff Estate, near Stellenbosch in the Western Cape.
The sale fetched more than double the highest price – £384,000 – previously raised at auction by a Tretchikoff work.
Vladimir Tretchikoff’s Chinese Girl portrait is thought to be the world’s most reproduced painting
Vladimir Tretchikoff, who grew up in Russia and Shanghai, eventually settled in South Africa in 1946 and completed the Chinese Girl in Cape Town in 1953.
His model was Monika Sing-Lee, then 17, whom he spotted working at her uncle’s launderette in Sea Point, Cape Town.
In his 1973 memoir Pigeon’s Luck, Vladimir Tretchikoff said he had put his “heart and soul” into a painting he hoped had “caught the essence of Chinese womanhood”.
The Chinese Girl’s popularity led to Vladimir Tretchikoff, who died in 2006, being labeled the “king of kitsch” – though his foundation describes him as “the people’s painter”.