LONDON – Second row, seat 23 – perhaps the prime position in Sotheby’s saleroom in New Bond Street. Had you been fortunate enough to occupy that seat at our London sales over the last month, you would have witnessed £356 million worth of extraordinary art pass across the rostrum in auctions of Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary art, Old Master Paintings and Drawings, together with the finest sculpture, furniture and works of art.

Should you have not been sitting in the room, then here – in the words of the specialists who sold them – is a taste of the artworks that characterised this summer at Sotheby’s and the outstanding prices they achieved.


Claude Monet
Nympheas
Sold for £31.7 million
The highest price for the entire London summer sale season
The highest global price in two years for Impressionist & Modern Art

“The paintings that Monet did in his beloved garden in Giverny the last three decades of his life are probably among the most important and celebrated paintings of the 20th century.”
-Helena Newman, Chairman, Impressionist & Modern Art, Europe; Co-Head, Worldwide Impressionist & Modern Art


Francis Bacon
Three Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer
Sold for £26,682,500
A new record for a small-scale triptych by the artist
The strongest price of the season for Contemporary Art
The highest ever price for a Contemporary work at Sotheby’s London

“Bacon must have been privileged to have had a retrospective at the Grand Palais in Paris, which at the time was perhaps the greatest apogee of a living artist’s career. The fact that he chose this painting to be in the show I think is emblematic of how important it was for Bacon.”
-Oliver Barker, Senior International Specialist Contemporary Art

Peter Doig
Country rock (wing mirror)
Sold for £8,482,500

Country-rock (wing mirror) is distinctly Doig: nostalgic without being specifically reminiscent, entrenched in fabled Canadian roots, and characterised by his trademark otherworldliness.”
-Cheyenne Westphal, Co-Head, Contemporary Art Worldwide


George Stubbs
Tygers at Play
£68.3 million
Our highest ever total for an Old Master & British Paintings Evening Sale

“In terms of subject matter, condition and its almost unbroken provenance since the time it was painted, Tygers at Play is one of the most exciting paintings in the realm of British art in the 18th century that has come to the market in a generation.” 
-Andrew Fletcher, Senior Director, Head of Auction Sales Old Master Paintings 


Marble statue of Aphrodite
Sold for £9,378,500
A record for a classical antiquity sold at auction in Europe
£23.6 million
Our highest ever total for a Decorative Arts sale with Treasures 2014

“The most important and the most iconic lot of the sale is a Roman sculpture of the Greek goddess Aphrodite, the goddess of love, beauty, passion and procreation.”
-Mario Tavella, Deputy Chairman Europe, Private Collections 


A George III musical tower clock
£2,266,500

“Testament to the Qing Emperors’ fascination with musical and automaton timepieces, this mesmerising clock set was in the Chinese Emperors’ Summer Palace at Jehol until 1913, when it was acquired by the famous Swiss collector, Gustave Loup.”
-Mario Tavella, Deputy Chairman Europe, Private Collections 


Jan Breughel the Elder
The Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man
Sold for £6,802,500
A record for the artist at auction 

“One of the finest examples of Jan Brueghel’s famous ‘Paradise’ landscapes to remain in private hands. Its beautifully rendered panoramic woodland setting and the lovingly detailed depiction of the teeming animal life within it, makes it easy to see why such pictures became the most famous of all the artist’s works.’”
-George Gordon, Co-Chairman, Worldwide Old Master Paintings & Drawings; Board Director, Old Master Paintings


Piet Mondrian
Composition with Red, Blue and Grey
Sold for £15,202,500

“What you get here is the most extraordinary purity; pared down abstraction which is so iconic and so much Mondrian’s signature style.”
-Helena Newman, Chairman, Impressionist & Modern Art, Europe; Co-Head, Worldwide Impressionist & Modern Art