The sale totalled £5,205,875, against a pre-sale estimate of £3.6–5.3 million, with 69% of lots sold and two works selling for over £1 million. The auction was led by Henri Gervex’s variant of his most famous work and succès de scandale, Rolla, which sold to a private collector for £1,385,000, an auction record for the artist.
Finnish artist Helene Schjerfbeck’s The Red-Haired Girl II ignited an intense bidding war between several institutions, driving the final sale price to £1,205,000, more than double its pre-sale low estimate. The painting was acquired by the Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation in Finland – one of the finest private museum collections in the Nordic region.
Solid prices were achieved for works by Spanish artists, including Joaquín Sorolla’s Playa de Valencia, which sold to a private collector for £323,000;and Santiago Rusiñol’s luminous painting of the Raixa Gardens in Mallorca, which almost doubled its pre-sale low estimate to sell for £137,000.
Outstanding works by leading 19th century artists define our 19th Century European Paintings sale in London. From the Nordic countries the auction is led by three masterpieces: Helene Schjerfbeck’s The Red-Haired Girl II, Vilhelm Hammershøi’s Interior with a Marble Niche, and the outstanding rediscovery La laitière by Albert Edelfelt. Other highlights include Henri Gervex’s large replica of his succès de scandale, Rolla, a fine early landscape by Corot, and works by Zandomeneghi, Boldini, and Rusiñol among others.