There was a new record for Willem van de Velde the Elder at Sotheby’s sale of Master Paintings in New York today. Dutch Harbour in a calm with Small Vessels sold for $5.4 million.
A rediscovered preparatory work for John Constable’s Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows sold for $5.2 million over a top estimate of $3 million. The work changed hands last year for £3,500 as painted by a follower of Constable. It was subsequently re-attributed as a preparatory sketch by the artist. Experts say it is one of several preparatory works for Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows bought by the Tate Gallery last year for £23.1 million.
The opening session of Sotheby’s Old Master Week sales was 72% sold by lot. No less than 97% of works sold brought in prices at or above their estimates and 12 lots sold for more than $1 million. The session brought in $57 million.