The sale totalled £5,182,438, towards the upper end of the pre-sale estimate. The British drawings and watercolours performed particularly well, most strikingly the wonderful Constable view of Hampstead, which far exceeded its estimate, making £794, 500. Other British highlights included two works by William Turner: Palace of La Belle Gabrielle, which sold for 266,500 against a £200,000 – 300,000 estimate, and Looking down the Val d’Aosta towards Aosta and the Pont Suza, which achieved £182,500 against a £50,000 – 70,000 pre-sale estimate.
In drawings more than almost any other field, collectors can demonstrate their highly personal judgement, taste and sense of quality. This remarkable sale, one of the richest for many years, is largely composed of groups of drawings coming directly from great private collections formed over the past three centuries. From the Dukes of Northumberland comes an important group of 28 fine marine drawings by the Van de Veldes, while another, Continental private collection has contributed highlights by artists including Watteau, Boucher, Rembrandt and Piranesi, not to mention Ingres' imposing study for his famous 1806 portrait of Napoleon.
Major drawings by Watteau, Fragonard and other 18th-century masters from the legendary collection of Georges Dormeuil are here being offered for sale for the first time in a century, and the more recent - but no less renowned - collection of the late Jan Krugier also contributes works by Goya, Ingres and Géricault. This rich tapestry is rounded off with a fine private collection of English drawings and watercolours, with outstanding works by, amongst others, Turner, Constable, Cozens and Wright of Derby.