Doyle’s Ancient and 19th Century Art Sale Exceeds Expectations

At the head of the sale, even though it was the last lot to cross the block, Emile Friant (French, 1863-1932) “Portrait of Charles Frederick Worth”, 1893, sold to an English buyer for 53,125 $. A private collector in the United States was the sub-bidder ($ 15 / 20,000).

Reviewed by Madelia Hickman Ring, catalog photos courtesy of Doyle

NEW YORK – On June 3, Doyle hosted an auction of 80 lots of Old Master and 19th-century paintings, drawings and sculptures. A wide range of landscapes, still lifes, portraits and religious subjects of European artists from the Renaissance to the 19th century were on display. With competitive international bidding, the sale totaled $ 365,813, exceeding the estimate of $ 163,500 / 267,900 with 88% of lots sold.

Elaine Banks Stainton, Doyle’s Senior Fine Art Specialist, was very happy when we spoke with her, having closed the deal on several works that had gone off the podium. “The sale, which included freshly released works from a variety of fields and private collections, attracted buyers from all over the world,” she said. “These included both long-time customers and many new to Doyle. The auctions were lively and enthusiastic, sending realized prices above the high estimate for the sale.

Under normal circumstances, Doyle typically includes Old Masters and 19th century artwork in English and Continental furniture sales, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company has chosen to sell the fine art separately. decorative arts. Previews were by appointment only and were conducted by an art manager who showed objects individually to patrons outside Doyle’s front door on East 87th Street. Stainton prepared numerous photographs and condition reports for clients who were unable or unwilling to come to Manhattan to examine the works.

Organized chronologically, a painting from the 16th-century Tuscan school of Saint Dominic exceeded expectations, grossing $ 5,000 ($ 2/4,000). A floral still life by a follower of Jan van Os more than quadrupled expectations, grossing $ 12,500. The sale included two marble sculptures that piqued the interest of American bidders: “Two Sleeping Children” by Joseph Gott (British, 1785-1860), fetched $ 5,312, while a bust of a woman by John Gibson ( British, 1790-1866) brought in $ 10,625. Towards the end of the sale, a small selection of sporting artwork was on display, led by two works by Francis Calcraft Turner (British, born circa 1782-1846) which brought in $ 5,937.

Bidders went wild for this

Bidders went wild for this “Allegory of Spring” attributed to Hendrick van Balen the Younger and Jan Brueghel the Younger. It brought in $ 46,875 from a private collector in Monaco ($ 8 / 12,000).

The sale – and the last lot offered – was an 1893 portrait of Charles Frederick Worth by French artist Emile Friant (1863-1932) which reached $ 53,125, more than double his estimate of $ 15 / 20,000. . Considered the father of haute couture, Worth dominated French couture in the late 19th century and dressed the most fashionable women of the era on both sides of the Atlantic. The portrait was painted only two years before his death and was auctioned off by one of his descendants, who Stainton said was “ecstatic” at the results.

The Estate of Robin R. Henry was the source of many of the best works in the auction. Stainton recognized the quality of Henry’s collection, characterizing his taste and eye as “exquisite”. One of the highlights of his succession were two works by Ottavio Maria Leone (1578-1630), who was considered one of the most sought-after portrait draughtsmen in Rome at the start of the 17th century. His portraits in black chalk are distinguished by their silvery tone and the elegance of their execution. “A Portrait of a Gentleman Wearing a Ruff” in exceptionally good condition climbed to $ 50,000, ten times its estimate of $ 3 / 5,000. His companion, “Portrait of a Lady,” sold for $ 18,750, just above his estimate of $ 10 / 15,000. Two different English commercial buyers were the winning bidders for Leone’s work.

From the same estate, a portrait in black chalk heightened with white attributed to Louis-Léopold Boilly. The drawing depicted Simon Chenard, one of the most popular actors and singers of the time. Determined bidders, including a French museum, pushed the work well beyond its estimate of $ 600/900 to a surprising $ 17,500.

All prices include the buyer’s premium as posted by the auction house.

Doyle’s next Old Masters and 19th Century Art Sale will be in October or early November.

Doyle is at 175 East 87th Street. For more information, 212-427-4141, or


Laura J. Boyer