Lot 3027. Anthony van Dyck (Antwerp 1599–1641 London), St Jerome in the Wilderness. Oil on panel, 47.1 × 40.4 cm. Estimate upon request. Sold for CHF 2 443 300. Courtesy Koller

ZURICH.- Koller's Old Masters & 19th Century Paintings auction in Zurich on 26 March registered robust prices, with highly competitive bidding for many of the top lots, despite the fact that the sale had to be held without in-person bidding.

Anthony van Dyck's St Jerome in the Wilderness, a fascinating, freely executed study which may have belonged to his mentor, Peter Paul Rubens, sold for CHF 2.4 million after a protracted bidding battle, well above pre-sale expectations of CHF 800 000/1 000 000 (lot 3027). A recently rediscovered mystical depiction of St Benedict by Filippino Lippi more than tripled its low estimate to sell to a Swiss collector for CHF 134 000 (lot 3002). A charming bucolic scene by Dutch master Roelant Savery (lot 3022) left one German private collection to enter another, also selling for more than three times its low estimate, at CHF 128 000. An impressive portrait of a young man attributed to the circle of Annibale Carracci (lot 3036) was one of the most successful lots of the day, selling for CHF 226 000.


Lot 3002. Filippino Lippi (Prato 1457– 1504 Florence), Saint Benedict, Circa 1470-75. Oil tempera on panel. Inscribed center bottom: SACTUS BENEDICTUS, 63.3 × 23.3 cm. Estimate CHF40,000 - CHF60,000. Sold for CHF 134 500. Courtesy Koller.

 Cf. my post: From Titian to van Dyck: Koller's Old Master auction features works by great names of Renaissance and Baroque art




Lot 3022. Roelant Savery (Kortrijk 1576–1639 Utrecht), Cow in a landscape. 1604. Oil on panel. Monogrammed and dated centre bottom: RS 1604 F.(?). 17.5 cm D (round). Estimate CHF 35 000 / 45 000 (€ 32 710 / 42 060)Sold for CHF 128 400. Courtesy Koller

Provenance- Collection of M. Ponyet, Amsterdam until 1859.
- Collection of D. Koetser, Zurich.
- Private collection, Germany.

 Literature- Kurt J. Müllenmeister: Meer und Land im Licht des 17. Jahrhunderts, Bremen 1981, vol. III, pp. 52-53, no. 372 (ill.).
- Exh. cat. Roelant Savery in seiner Zeit (1576–1639), Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne 1985, p. 109.
- Kurt J. Müllenmeister: Roelant Savery. Die Gemälde mit kritischem Œuvrekatalog, Freren 1988, cat. 263, pp. 324f. (with colour ill. no. 52, p. 161).



Lot 3036. Circle of Annibale Carracci (Bologna before 1560–1609 Rome), Portrait of a youth in a lace collar. Oil on canvas. 40.2 × 33.2 cm. Estimate CHF 4 000 / 6 000 (€ 3 740 / 5 610). Sold for CHF 226 000Courtesy Koller.

Provenance: Swiss private collection.

Among the 19th-century works, Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller's 'The love letter', a moody depiction of two young ladies by candlelight, sold for CHF 232 000 to a private Swiss collector (lot 3141). A landscape with figures by Waldmüller fetched CHF 73 000 (lot 3152). A vibrantly coloured view of Capri by Russian expatriate artist Konstantin Gorbatoff changed hands for more than double its estimate at CHF 134 000 (lot 3119), and a tranquil river view by Eugène Boudin (lot 3135) also doubled its estimate at CHF 104 000.


Lot 3141. Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller (Vienna 1793–1865 Helmstreitmühle), The Love Letter, 1848.
Oil on canvas. Signed and dated upper right: Waldmüller 1848, 78 × 64.5 cmEstimate CHF150,000 - CHF250,000. Sold for CHF 232 100. Courtesy Koller


Lot 3119. Konstantin Ivanovich Gorbatoff (Stavropol 1876–1945 Berlin), View of CapriOil on canvas. Signed lower right: K. Gorbatoff. Inscribed on the canvas verso: CAPRI / K. Gorbatoff. 50.3 × 60.4 cmEstimate CHF60,000 - CHF80,000. Sold for CHF 134 500. Courtesy Koller

 Cf. my post: From Titian to van Dyck: Koller's Old Master auction features works by great names of Renaissance and Baroque art



Lot 3135. Eugène Boudin (Honfleur 1824–1898 Deauville), La Touques à Saint-Arnoult. 1893. Oil on canvas. Signed and dated lower left: 93 E. Boudin. 54.1 × 74.2 cm. Estimate CHF50,000 - CHF70,000Sold for CHF 104,000. Courtesy Koller

Provenance: - Charles de Bériot Collection, Paris.
- Hôtel Drouot auction, Paris, 11.3.1901, Lot 34.
- Hôtel Drouot auction, Paris, 26.4.1918, Lot 15.
- Hôtel Drouot auction, Paris, 12.5.1923, Lot 46.
- Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, until 1933.
- Hôtel Drouot auction, Paris, 22.1.1934, Lot 51.
- Galerie René Drouet, Paris. Acquired from the previous owner, c. 1995.
- Collection Terry Allen Kramer, until November 2019.
- Christie's auction, New York, 12.11.2019, Lot 433 (The Collection of Terry Allen Kramer).
- European private collection.

Literature: Robert Schmit: Eugène Boudin, 1824–1898, Paris 1973, vol. II, p. 227, no. 3192 (with ill.).

'The results of this auction, especially the enthusiastic bidding for works such as the van Dyck, confirm what we have been seeing for the past year: despite the global upheaval caused by the pandemic in many sectors, the market for Old Masters - and the auction market in general - is in excellent health, especially for high-quality works', commented Cyril Koller, CEO of Koller Auctions.

Koller's sales during its spring auction week performed well across the board, with an overall hammer of 117% of the pre-sale estimates. Among the decorative arts, a pair of chests of drawers from the workshop of the Gebrüder Spindler sold for CHF 220 000 (lot 1087). The second part of the European porcelain collection of Siegfried Ducret realised impressive prices, such as CHF 98 000 for a Meissen Böttger stoneware teapot, estimated at CHF 15 000/25 000 (lot 1039). A first edition of Charles Darwin's 'The Origin of the Species', the first example ever sold by an auction house in Continental Europe, changed hands for CHF 98 000 (lot 291).


Lot 1087. Pair of important inlaid commodes from the workshop of Johann Friedrich Spindler, Rococo, Potsdam around 1765. Johann Friedrich Spindler (1726 - 1799). Estimate CHF 150 000-250 000. Sold for CHF 219 900. Courtesy Koller

 Cf. my post: From Titian to van Dyck: Koller's Old Master auction features works by great names of Renaissance and Baroque art




Lot 1039. Böttger stoneware tea pot and lid, Meissen, ca. 1710, model by Johann Jakob Irminger. H 9.5 cm. Estimate CHF 15,000-25,000Sold for CHF 97,900. Courtesy Koller.

Red brown, polished stoneware with unpolished reliefed elements. Octagonal, conical shape with curved spout, featuring the head of an eagle, and curved handle. Unpolished, crowned coat-of-arms cartouche and mascaron. Polished lid with palm finial.

Provenance: - Collection Dr. Siegfried Ducret, Zurich.
- By succession to Rosmarie Schmidt-Ducret, Binningen, estate.

Note: In the 1711 inventory of the Manufactory, this model was listed as "8Bassige Thee Krügel mit Adler Schnäutzgen".

The tea pot on offer is listed in an inventory compiled after Johann Friedrich Böttger's death, on 13 March 1719. This inventory included all of Böttger's brown and white stoneware in the Royal Warehouse in Dresden, in Böttger's private rooms, in the Manufactory, and in the Royal Warehouse for the Easter Fair in Leipzig; other comparative item: Victoria & Albert Museum, London, Inv. Nos. C.108 & A-1940.

Comparative item: Claus Boltz, Steinzeug und Porzellan der Böttgerperiode. Die Inventare und die Ostermesse des Jahres 1719, Keramos 167/168, 2000, p. 110, Ill. 135 (nowadays: Ludwig Collection, Bamberg).