The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Freeman's best Fine Art sale ever realizes $6.4 million
The undoubted highlight of the sale was the stellar result achieved for Carl Moll’s White Interior (Lot 56).

PHILADELPHIA, PA.- Freeman’s announced the results of its February 23 European Art & Old Masters auction, which realized over $6.4M—the best Fine Art sale total that Freeman’s has ever recorded. With spirited bidding throughout the sale from bidders both online and on the telephone, the 67-lot auction achieved an impressive 90% sell-through rate and nearly quadrupled its pre-sale high estimate.


The undoubted highlight of the sale was the stellar result achieved for Carl Moll’s White Interior (Lot 56). After extensive, competitive bidding both online and from a dozen telephone bidders located around the world, the work shattered the previous world auction record of $385,653 and ultimately sold to a private American collector for $4,756,000—more than 8 times its pre-sale high estimate. It is believed the buyer has the intention to exhibit the painting at The Neue Galerie in New York in the future. The significant painting is Freeman’s highest selling lot to date, surpassing the house’s 2011 record of $3.1m achieved by an important Imperial white jade seal from the Qianlong period.

Said Head of Sale, David Weiss: “Today’s sale set a new house record for Freeman’s with the sale of a stunning painting by the Austrian artist Carl Moll which fetched nearly $4.8m. It was a privilege to have been entrusted with such an exceptional work which had been in the same family for over a hundred years. The consignors are understandably thrilled. ”

Said Chairman, Alasdair Nichol: “I couldn’t be more delighted with the results of today’s European Art sale particularly as it was hot on the heels of our best American Art auction yet held last December totaling $5.2m. In spite of all the challenges of the past year, Freeman’s continues to have an extraordinarily successful year which is truly a testimony to the efforts of our outstanding team.”


There was great interest in fresh-to-market works from private and institutional collections, including The Calm Sea, Nocturne (Lot 40) by Jacob Schikaneder, which more than doubled its pre-sale high estimate to realize $346,500. Similarly, Roses (Lot 58) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, which was deaccessioned by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia, realized over triple its pre-sale high estimate, selling for $302,400 after a lengthy battle among nineteen telephone bidders.


Other notable highlights included the sale of: Yuri (Georgiy) Ivanovich Pimenov’s The Lemonade Stand (Lot 67) which sold for $91,700, more than 6-times its pre-sale high estimate; Gustav Klimt’s, Dame Wittgenstein (Study for Bildnis Margaret Stonborough-Wittgenstein) (Lot 55), which surpassed its pre-sale high estimate, achieving $88,200; Étude pour Le Martyre de Saint Procès et Saint Martinien by Valentin de Boulogne (Lot 16), a recently authenticated bozzetto and the first and only one to ever come on the market, realized $78,750, more than doubling its pre-sale high estimate; Venus at the Forge of Vulcan (Lot 6) a work from the Neapolitan School (17th century), which was once a part of the Getty Museum’s collection, sold for $47,250, more than 6-times its pre-sale high estimate; La Sympathie (Lot 61) by Hippolyte Petitjean which sold for $44,100, surpassing its pre-sale high estimate; and Un Témoin Muet (Lot 51) by Evariste Carpentier which realized $30,240, far exceeding its pre-sale estimate of $6,000-10,000.

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