At the pinnacle of the offer with an estimate of € 500/600,000 is an important painting by Jan Lievens. He is followed by one of the few works by Abraham Mignon which has only recently been rediscovered after decades (€ 350/400,000). Further still lifes of the Golden Age of Dutch painting form a strong part of the auction featuring pictures by Jan Bosschaert (€ 130/160,000), Cornelis de Heem (€ 150/170,000), Jan van Walscapelle (€ 80/100,000) or Nicolaes Gillis (€ 50/70,000). Magnificent triptychs from the early 16th century are by Jan van Dornicke (€ 400/450,000) and Adriaen van Overbeke (€ 400/500,000). Two pictures are from Jan Brueghel the Younger, created in collaboration with the Circle of Sebastian Vrancx (lot 1544, € 100/150,000) and in cooperation with Lucas van Uden (lot 1545, € 80/100,000).
Auctions always bring unknown or long-lost artworks to light and delight art history experts and international collectors alike. High quality and well-preserved Old Master paintings are still highly coveted trophies, despite the strong interest for modern and contemporary art. Several of the most important lots in the Old Master Paintings auction are new discoveries.
The portrait of an Old Man with Beard from the hand of Rembrandt’s friend Jan Lievens has been identified by research as a hitherto unknown precursor to a painting in the collection of the Russian Tsarina Catherine II, today found in the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (lot 1554, € 500/600,000).
A so-called ‘forest floor still life’ by the Frankfurt artist Abraham Mignon emerged again after a period of over fifty years. It lay unnoticed in a Rhenish private collection but had found its way into the catalogue raisonné of the early-deceased painter through a preserved photograph. Only 69 recognised paintings by Mignon are known (lot 1563, € 350/400,000).
Further still lifes of the Golden Age of Dutch painting stand at the focal point of the action. These include a flower still life by Jan Bosschaert (lot 1561, €130/160,000), a still life of flowers and fruits by Cornelis de Heem (lot 1565, € 150/170,000), a very decorative still life with seafood and fruit by Jan van Walscapelle (lot 1564, € 80/100,000), or a further fruit piece by Nicolaes Gillis (lot 1559, €50/70,000). Another flower still life on copper is by an Utrecht Master from around 1617-1619, with an estimate of € 70/100,000 (lot 1560). This is complimented by two further examples with fruits from the 19th century from the hand of Wilhelm and Emilie Preyer, the most important German painters of this genre (lot 1710, € 30/35,000 and lot 1711, € 20/25,000).
Two Flemish altars, so-called triptychs of the early 16th century, are of unusually painterly quality: An outstanding work the Adoration of the Kings by the Antwerp mannerist Jan van Dornicke (lot 1503, € 400/450,000) and a hitherto unknown work with a depiction of Ecce Homo from the central panel by the painter Adriaen van Overbeke, active in Antwerp between 1505 and 1530 (lot 1503, € 400/500,000), which could be identified on the basis of the coat of arms as a commission from an English donor couple.
A further important lot comprises two copper panels with depictions from Greek mythology by the Austrian painter Franz Christoph Janneck (1703-1761, lot 1590, €120/140,000).
The offer comprises 40 large and small sculptures from the 14th to 18th centuries from the German-speaking countries, France, Flanders, and the Netherlands. Important objects include a stone Madonna and Child, made in Burgundy in around 1400 (lot 1613, € 50/60,000), a wood figure of St Cecilia made 80 years later in Austria (lot 1626, € 25/30,000), a wood figure of St John the Baptist made in Bavaria in around 1500 (lot 1631, € 35/40,000), and an ivory piggyback group attributed to Leonhard Kern for € 40/50,000 (lot 1647).
With a total of 250 lots presented in an opulent catalogue, the Old Master works listed here are accompanied by a large number of 19th century paintings and drawings, including perhaps one of the more important works, namely a depiction of the Quirinal Palace in Rome by Oswald Achenbach (lot 1721, €40/50,000).