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Success for Female Artists Drives Sotheby's 2019 Masters Week Sales To $100 Million

First Masters Week Series to Achieve $100 Million at Sotheby's New York Since 2011

NEW YORK, Feb. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --

620+ Works Sold Across Five Auctions With Nearly 50% of Sold Lots Achieving Prices Above Expectations 

The Female Triumphant: Works by Trailblazing Female Artists from the 16th – 19th Centuries Totals $14.6 Million and Sets Seven Auction Records

Master Drawings Achieve an Exceptional $15.1 Million – Highest Total for Any Old Master Drawings Sale at Sotheby's

Sales Series Continues with Online Sales of Old Masters and 19th Century European Art Open for Bidding through 6 February

Sotheby’s 2019 Masters Week auction in New York reached $100 million for the first time since 2011, with half of all lots sold achieving prices above expectations. Among the many highlights was Sir Peter Paul Rubens’’ Nude Study of Young Man with Raised Arms’ – one of the most important drawings by the iconic artist to appear on the open market in over 50 years – which sold for $8.2 million after intense competition between two bidders.

Sotheby's (BID) annual Masters Week auctions concluded over the weekend in New York, with 620+ paintings, drawings and sculptures selling for an overall total of $99.8 million and nearly 50% of sold lots achieving prices above their high estimate.  This total represents the first Masters Week series to achieve $100 million at Sotheby's New York since 2011.

Sotheby's Masters Week series continues with online sales of Old Masters and 19th Century European Art open for bidding through 6 February. 

Christopher Apostle, Head of Sotheby's Old Master Paintings Department in New York, commented: "We are very pleased with the results of this year's Masters Week sale series, which demonstrated an enthusiastic, sophisticated and confident market for paintings, sculpture and drawings spanning the 13th – 19th centuries.  Top prices were buoyed by demand for museum-caliber, fresh-to-market material, and global participation across private collectors, institutions and the trade."

Below is a look at some of the highlights that drove the results of our Masters Week series:

MASTER PAINTINGS EVENING SALE – Auction Total: $52.7 Million

To highlight this year's Masters Week sales series, Sotheby's assembled a group of works by female artists of the pre-Modern era, celebrating the lives and important work of these groundbreaking women. Titled The Female Triumphant, the group featured major paintings created by leading female artists from the 16th through the 19th centuries, totaling $14.6 million and establishing new auction records for seven female artists.

The evening sale also featured a group of Dutch masterworks emerging from a distinguished private collection, which was led by Joachim Anthonisz. Wtewael's work on copper A Banquet of the Gods, which sold for $5.9 million to the Centraal Museum in Utrecht.

MASTER PAINTINGS & SCULPTURE DAY SALE – Auction Total: $10.8 Million

Wednesday's Master Paintings & Sculpture Day sale was led by a 17th century replica of Leonardo da Vinci's iconic Mona Lisa, which smashed its pre-sale high estimate of $120,000 after a ten minute bidding battle, selling for $1.7 million.

OLD MASTER DRAWINGS – Auction Total: $15.1 Million  

Tuesday's sale was highlighted by a magnificent collection of drawings assembled by King William II of the Netherlands and his wife Anna Pavlovna, who together amassed one of the finest collections formed anywhere in Europe in the 19th century.

The collection was led by Sir Peter Paul Rubens's Nude Study of Young Man with Raised Arms – one of the most important drawings by the iconic artist to appear on the open market in over 50 years – which sold for $8.2 million after intense competition between two bidders.  That price more than doubled the work's high estimate of $3.5 million, and established a new world auction record for a drawing by the artist.  

19TH CENTURY EUROPEAN ART – Auction Total: $16.1 million

Friday's auction saw strong prices achieved for quintessential 19th-century pictures – many of which had not been seen in public for generations. "

Seven works by William Bouguereau were sold, demonstrating the demand for works by the master of French Academic painting as well as the commitment from collectors to acquire the best works.  His 1901 canvas Le livre de prix – which led the sale – achieved $1.3 million.  Formerly in the collection of Henry May, Vice President and General Manager of the Pierce-Arrow Motor Company, the work has remained in the same family's collection for over 100 years and until recently, was known only through a black and white photograph from Bouguereau's studio.


Our Masters Week live auctions concluded on Saturday afternoon with a collection of paintings and decorative arts, ranging from Old Masters to the Impressionists, exceptional pieces of 18th and 19th Century continental furniture, decorative art and Asian art, assembled by an American collector over decades. 

The sale was led by William Bouguereau's 1984 Pâquerettes, which brought $1.2 million – nearly double its pre-sale high estimate of $600,000.  

About Sotheby's
Sotheby's has been uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744. Sotheby's became the first international auction house when it expanded from London to New York (1955), the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong (1973), India (1992) and France (2001), and the first international fine art auction house in China (2012). Today, Sotheby's presents auctions in 10 different salesrooms, including New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris, and Sotheby's BidNow program allows visitors to view all auctions live online and place bids from anywhere in the world. Sotheby's offers collectors the resources of Sotheby's Financial Services, the world's only full-service art financing company, as well as the collection, artist, estate & foundation advisory services of its subsidiary, Art Agency, Partners. Sotheby's presents private sale opportunities in more than 70 categories, including S|2, the gallery arm of Sotheby's Global Fine Art Division, and three retail businesses: Sotheby's Wine, Sotheby's Diamonds, and Sotheby's Home, the online marketplace for interior design. Sotheby's has a global network of 80 offices in 40 countries and is the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (BID).

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New York | +1 212 606 7176 | Darrell Rocha | Darrell.Rocha@Sothebys.com | Amanda Bass | Amanda.Bass@Sothebys.com


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