This July’s Day sale of Old Master and Early British paintings is particularly strong and diverse and includes property from several important private collections; those of the Princes of Liechtenstein, Saam and Lily Nijstad and the Trustees of Ampleforth Abbey, to name but a few. The Liechtenstein lots are highlighted by a large Jacob Jordaens depicting Mercury, Argus and Io and a sumptuous ‘banketje’ still life by Willem Claesz. Heda. There is a wealth of 16th and 17th century Dutch and Flemish painting, and of particular note are a group of pictures from the estate of John. A. Viccars, two of the most attractive of these being moonlit landscapes by Hendrik Dubbels and Aert van der Neer. There is, too, a particularly strong group of landscapes and allegories from the Brueghel family and their studios as well as a rare sketch by Erasmus Quellinus the Younger intended as a design for a temporary Loggia to Celebrate the Treaty of Munster. The Italian school is well-represented by two cassone panels by Niccolò Giolfino, a lively Madonna and Child by Bernardo Lanino, and a graceful David and Bathsheba by Jacopo Amigoni, while the Spanish school is highlighted by a rare portrait of Diego Velasquez, by his best pupil Juan Bautista del Mazo, and a newly discovered Arrest of Christ by Juan Correa da Vivar.
Early British portraiture includes a painting thought to be Mary Queen of Scots from the Circle of Robert Peake, and later works by Lely, Reynolds and Gainsborough as well as an exciting portrait of the eighteenth-century Indian politician, Nana Fadnavis by John Thomas Seton. The sale includes works from both Lucas Cranach the Elder’s workshop and the hand of his son, Lucas Cranach the Younger. Other highlights include a recently discovered slate by Alessandro Turchi, called L’Orbetto, a rare Rembrandtesque work by Salomon Koninck not seen in public for over fifty years, and a charming pair of military scenes by Jean-Baptiste Pater.