Christie’s evening auction of Old Master and British Paintings last night not only produced over £85 million – the highest ever total for an auction in this category – but also a top price of £22,441,250, paid for ‘The Lock’ from 1724 by John Constable (pictured below), a world record price for the artist at auction.
Scroll to the bottom of the page to watch Christie’s video of the auction.
With an estimate of £20 million to £25 million, ‘The Lock’ was sold to an anonymous buyer. From the Collection of Baroness Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, it had been sold only once before since it was acquired from the artist and is remarkable for its excellent state of preservation. It is one of six paintings from the artist’s most celebrated series of large-scale works The Stour Series, which also includes the iconic ‘The Hay Wain’.
Fifty-four lots of 64 offered were sold at the auction, including Rembrandt’s ‘A Man in a Gorget and Cap’ from 1626, which sold for over £8.4 million.
The price paid for ‘The Lock’ equals the previous record for an Old Master sold at Christie’s, ‘Gimcrack on Newmarket Heath, with a Trainer, a Stable-Lad, and a Jockey’ by George Stubbs, which sold in July last year.
“This evening we offered an auction of outstanding quality and saw the market for Old Masters continue to break boundaries. Having been entrusted with so many exceptional consignments, highlights of the auction were exhibited in Doha, Hong Kong, Moscow, Amsterdam, New York and then London, alongside masterpieces of Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary art. This evening’s sale went on to attract buyers from 22 countries in four continents, many of whom were new to this category, and some whom were new to Christie’s altogether,” says Richard Knight, co-chairman of Christie’s Old Master and British Paintings Department.
Watch the auction below:
Thanks to Christie’s for the video.