Tiepolo and Moillon were the outstanding lots of the Old Master & 19th Century Pictures sale

26/11/2021     News Stories & Press Release, Old Master & 19th Century Pictures

Roseberys were proud to present the final Old Master & 19th Century Pictures auction of the year on Wednesday 17th November.

Associate Specialist, Lara L’vov-Basirov commented: ‘Demand remains strong for works of quality and which are either fresh to the market or have prestigious historic provenance. Early works, proved popular in particular, with the first half of the sale performing very well. The Tiepolo and Moillon were the outstanding lots of the sale. The prices realised reflect both works’ rarity, historic importance, compositional strengths, condition, overall presentation, and distinguished provenance. Bidders turned up for the small but important group of works by French/British 19th-century artist Alphonse Legros. Lot 154, the artist’s arresting self-portrait, wan a highlight in particular, which made £3,750, against a pre-sale estimate of £150-200. 18th-Century British and French portraits enjoyed a robust performance in our sale, including, notably, two works by the Circle of Johan Joseph Zoffany RA (lot 63, £6,5875) and follower of Jean Marc Nattier (lot 54, £6,000). 17th-Century French and Dutch portraiture, too, performed well, including lot 49, Circle Of Abraham Bloemaert, Dutch making £6,875, lot 30, French School, Early/Mid-17th Century- Portrait making £6,000 and lot 27 Circle Of Frans Hals, Dutch which made £4,000. Early works on paper fetched good prices too. The earliest lot in the sale was lot 9, a late 16th-Century early follower of Leonardo da Vinci which realised £3,375 against pre-sale estimates of £1,200-1,800. Lot 11, also did well, Cesare Dandini, Italian 1596-1656- Study of hands at prayer; red chalk on paper, making £5,750, against an estimate of £500 - £700. Overall, good results across the board from the late 16th and 17th Century works through to those of the late 19th Century.’


Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Italian 1696-1770- Three Punchinelli gathered around a gnocchi pot; black chalk, pen and brown ink and wash on paper, bears ownership inscription ‘Tiepolo / Collection Jolimont.' (lower edge), 20.5 x 23 cm. 


Lot 83, black chalk, pen, and brown ink and wash on paper, depicting Three Punchinelli gathered around a gnocchi pot by Italian artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, 1696-1770, was the highlight of the auction.  One of around just thirty-six Punchinello drawings by Tiepolo Senior (Giovanni Battista), and dating to the late 1730s, these Punchinello works are incredibly rare appearances on the art market. The celebrated, buffoon character of the Punchinello originated in popular theatrical productions or ‘Commedia dell’Arte’ in the 1600s. A century later, Tiepolo’s representations of this clownish figure – hunchbacked and clad in a white suit with a tall sugarloaf hat and beaked nose – cooking or eating gnocchi, are thought to point to the festival of Verona on the last Friday of Carnival, the so-called ‘venerdì gnoccolare’, during which vast quantities of gnocchi and red wine were consumed before the beginning of Lent the following week. The drawing hasn’t been seen on the open market since it last came up for sale at Sotheby’s, London, in 1974. Entered onto the market with a pre-sale guided price of £20,000- £30,000, this lot realised the price of £100,000 at auction, going to a UK-based telephone bidder. Lara L’vov-Basirov commented: ‘The high price achieved reflects the rarity of works of this subject by the Venetian master entering onto the market, and demonstrates clearly that strong demand is there for such outstanding works on paper.’


Attributed to Louise Moillon, French c.1610-1696- The Fruit Seller; oil on canvas, bears restorer's monogram and date '1976' (on the reverse of the canvas), 121 x 102 cm., 47½ x 40 in.


Another promising result for a strong work was lot 53, attributed to the esteemed French 17th-Century female artist Louise Moillon, c.1610-1696. The oil on canvas ‘The Fruit Seller’, which was offered at auction for the first time at Roseberys, came with provenance from an important Greek shipping family. The work represents a significant rediscovery by the Still life Baroque female master, whose oeuvre consists of around just seventy-five works. Only a handful of Mollion’s larger-scale ‘figurative-still life’ combination paintings have even been offered on the market before, and the artist was one of the very few female painters in 17th-Century France whose artistic reputation has been held in consistently high regard. This incredibly important example of 17th-Century French Still Life painting, that came with an estimate of £40,000-£60,000, made £57,500 at auction going to an online Saleroom bidder based in France. Lara L’vov-Basirov commented: ‘Another promising result for a strong work, again reflecting the strength of the art market for those first-rate pictures.


Wincenty Sleńdziński,  Polish/Lithuanian 1837-1909-  Portrait of an old woman holding a rosary;  oil on canvas


Works by rarer 19th Century European artists, who don’t come to appear on the market so often, performed well, including work by Polish/Lithuanian artist Wincenty Sleńdziński, 1837-1909, lot 138.  From a UK Private Collection, the oil on canvas, ‘Portrait of an old woman holding a rosary’, signed, inscribed and dated '1889' (on the reverse), measuring 85 x 70 cm, realised the price of £27,500, after being entered onto the market with an estimate of £1,200 - £1,800. Born in Lithuania, Sleńdziński was particularly celebrated for his portraits rendered in the Realist style. He also produced frescoes for several prominent churches in Lithuania, including the Church of St Casimir and the chapel of Rasos Cemetary, both in Vilnius. Indeed, the subject of the present work – a devout woman clutching her rosary bears – is in itself a clear reflection of his interest in religion. Sleńdziński’s masterful illumination of the scene, placing particular emphasis on the sitter’s hands, face, and grey hairs, against her dour clothes and austere, dark background, creates an intensely evocative atmosphere. The contrasting areas of darkness and light further draw the viewers’ eyes to the exceptionally detailed and unsparing rendering of the sitter’s features, which appear to be worn by hardship and age.


William Linton, British 1791-1876- View of the Acropolis, Athens, with a shepherd and his flock in the foreground; oil on canvas, inscribed 'Athens' (lower right), 38 x 54.4 cm.


The prices achieved for William Linton’s ‘View of the Acropolis, Athens’ and Andrew Nicholl’s ‘Elie House in Mutural, Colombo, Ceylon’ demonstrate that the market for top-quality topographical pictures – visions of now mostly long-lost worlds – remains strong.

Lot 116, the oil on canvas artwork by British artist William Linton, 1791-1876, ‘View of the Acropolis, Athens, with a shepherd and his flock in the foreground’ came with an estimate of £3,000-£4,000 and realised the price of £13,750. Linton’s works are generally indebted to certain seminal 18th-Century artists including Claude Lorrain, Claude-Joseph Vernet, and Richard Wilson. Indeed, their influence is evident in the dramatic lighting and sweeping composition of the present work, which imbue the scene with a sense of grandeur and theatricality and reinforce the historical and cultural significance of its subject. Linton traveled extensively in Europe and this is one of several works he painted on his travels.


Andrew Nicholl, R.H.A.,  Irish 1804-1886-  Elie House in Mutural, Colombo, Ceylon;  pencil, pen and brown ink and watercolour on paper

Lot 118, by Irish artist, Andrew Nicholl, R.H.A., 1804-1886, ‘Elie House in Mutural, Colombo, Ceylon’ created in pencil, pen and brown ink and watercolour on paper, measuring 22 x 31 cm, retrospectively made £11,000, against a pre-sale guided price of £1,200 - £1,800. The sketch of the house belonging to the Colonial Secretary Philip Anstruther, later occupied by the artist's patron Sir James Emerson Tennent, described it thus: 'It stands on the ridge of a projecting headland, commanding a wide prospect over the Gulf of Mannar, and amid a garden containing the rarest and most beautiful trees of the tropics.' Emerson Tennent was Colonial Secretary in Ceylon from 1845, and was, like Nicholl, a Belfast man. Nicholl exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy from 1832. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1832 to 1854 and moved to live in London in 1840. He arrived in Ceylon in 1846 on the paddle-steamer Precursor from Falmouth, the successful applicant for the post of teacher of Drawing at the Colombo Academy. He accompanied Emerson Tennent on his official tour of Ceylon in July-August 1848, and published his ‘A Sketching Tour of Five Weeks in the Forest of Ceylon; Its Ruined Temples, Colossal Statues, Tanks, Dagobahs, etc.’ in the Dublin University Magazine in 1852. He left Ceylon in 1849 and later furnished Emerson Tennent with illustrations for his ‘Ceylon; an Account of the Island, Physical Historical and Topographical, etc.’ published in 1859.


Jean Antoine Théodore Gudin, French 1802-1880- The Battle of Alicudi Off Stromboli, 8th January 1676; oil on canvas, signed and dated '1845' (lower right), bears the inscription 'Gudin 1845 / Combat naval en ... / Naples' (on an old label attached to the reverse of the stretcher), 59 x 81.2 cm


(Lot 111) An important battle scene depicting the Battle of Alicudi Off Stromboli, 8th January 1676 by artist Jean Antoine Théodore Gudin, 1802-1880, made £9,375 at auction – selling to a telephone bidder based in France. The artist is the highly respected French marine painter and court painter to both King Louis Philippe and Emperor French Napoleon III. He, and fellow artist Louis-Philippe Crépin, were the first official ‘Peintres de la Marine’ in 1830. In the wake of his successful first exhibition at the Salon in 1822, Gudin gained the patronage of King Louis Philippe I who commissioned him to paint around eighty works depicting celebrated French naval battles. Gudin eventually went on to be displayed in the Palace of Versailles. The frenetic naval scene described in the present work is likely to have been completed when Gudin was based in Berlin from around 1845.


Circle of Sir Peter Lely, English 1618-1680- Portrait of John Noel, Son of Viscount Campden, standing three-quarter length, wearing a red silk cloak, in a landscape; oil on canvas, inscribed 'John Noel Son of / Viscount Campden. / P. Lilley. pinxt' (lower left), 126.8 x 103 cm


Portraiture was also successful in the auction. Following on from the successful sale of the Studio of Lely portrait in the July Old Master & 19th Century Pictures auction at Roseberys, realising £18,750, we were proud to present lot 28 by the Circle of Sir Peter Lely, 1618-1680- Portrait of John Noel, Son of Viscount Campden. In the present work, the anonymous artist is looking closely at the contemporary portraits being produced by Lely, especially in the latter stages of his career. Lely’s increasingly flamboyantly bold approach is echoed here, particularly in the formalised, almost schematic, drapery and the confident rendering of light and shade on its folds. The sensitively conceived face of the sitter is furthermore highly reminiscent of portraits by Lely, and the setting of the autumnal landscape recalls the artist’s earlier English works, which themselves exhibit the influences of Anthony van Dyck and the Dutch Baroque. Here, the sitter is portrayed in his finest dress of a red silk cloak covering his clothes, revealing long full white sleeves, and a large lace cravat. Coming with a pre-sale guided price of £4,000-£6,000, the work realised the price of £8,750.


Circle of Joseph Highmore, British 1692-1780- Portrait of a Shepherdess; oil on canvas

Later 18th-Century British and Victorian portraiture also performed strongly. Including lot 55, Circle of Joseph Highmore, British 1692-1780- Portrait of a Shepherdess; oil on canvas, which made £4,500. In the early 18th Century, visions of the English countryside were presented in increasingly romanticised forms. The present work, which depicts a noblewoman in the guise of a shepherdess, subscribes to this very Arcadian ideal.



After Antonio Allegri da Correggio, Italian 1489-1534- Madonna and Child with Saints Jerome and Mary Magdalene (The Day); oil on canvas

Lot 6, after Antonio Allegri da Correggio, Italian 1489-1534- Madonna and Child with Saints Jerome and Mary Magdalene (The Day); oil on canvas, measuring 147.5 x 109 cm was another highlight within the auction. The larger, original composition, commissioned around 1528, is now held in the National Gallery, Parma, Italy (no.GN351), and is a companion painting to 'The Nativity' held in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden. Considered to be Correggio's most accomplished altarpiece, it was copied several times. The composition and colouring of the present work draw on elements of the Mannerist style, which influenced much of the artistic scene in Italy in the early to mid-16th Century, and prefigured the peak of the Baroque period where the use of chiaroscuro came to dominate many altarpieces. Against an estimate of £2,000 - £3,000, this work made double, realising the price of £6,000.
















Select your interests to receive news and catalogue updates.



More News