Sisi & Co: Record sales during the first half of 2017

Look back in joy: Dorotheum, German-speaking Europe's largest auction house, was once again able to achieve a number of record results during the first half of 2017. The extensive range of the auction house, which continues to enjoy the trust of a global clientele, is borne out by this spring's top three sales.

  • The Dorotheum auction of "19th century paintings" on 27th April 2017 saw the best result ever brought in by this category, with 1.54 million Euro paid for a painting depicting the future Empress Elisabeth of Austria at the time of her betrothal. For more than 60 years, the historically significant portrait ”Kaiserin Elisabeth von Österreich als Braut zu Pferd in Possenhofen“ by Carl Theodor von Piloty and Franz Adam hung over the bed of Emperor Franz Joseph at the Hofburg Palace.
  • Another new world record result of €792,500 was brought in by Emilio Vedova's 1959 large format “Tensione“ sold at the auction of  „Contemporary art“ on 31st May 2017. Dorotheum also explored new avenues with its emphasis on Informel
  • At one of the most successful Old Master Auctions in Dorotheum history on 25th April 2017, the masterful Early Renaissance "Battle of Pharsalos" by Apollonio di Giovanni - originally attached to a wedding chest – was sold for excellent €674,000.

Additional top results in the first half of 2017 included a pair of old master portraits of a man and a woman from the Antwerp School, sold for sensational €466,600.
Living up to its title, Marino Marini small sculpture of a bizarre horseman about to fall of his horse, „Piccolo Miracolo“ became a small miracle when it sold for wonderful 405,600 Euro. In the modern art category, Dorotheum saw some exceptional results for Austrian art including paintings by Carl Moll (Praterszene, €247,000), Alfons Walde (“In Tirol“, €198,200) and Albin Egger-Lienz (“Ruhender Hirte“, €186,000) all sold far above their estimates
“Art Informel“ proved especially sought after. “Komposition“ by Nicolas de Stael (1950) sold for €405,600, “Vegetaux“ (1957) by Jean Fautrier for €295,800, and Josef Alber's “Study for Homage to the Square: Earthen I” (1955) went for an exceptional €515,400.
Vintage cars have always enjoyed a high standing at Dorotheum. At the auction on 24th June, a Horch 853 Sportcabriolet dating to 1938 took first place with €500,000 during the almost entirely sold-out event.
Dorotheum also attracted significant attention with the sale, in several stages, of the collection of legendary Viennese art dealer Reinhold Hofstätter, including a wide range of art and decorative objects from a variety of epochs. After previous year's sale of the furnishings of Schwallenbach Manor, spring 2017 brought the auction of the first instalment of nearly 600 objects from Hofstätter's residence on Strudlhofstiege and his antique shop. In autumn 2017, this will be followed by art nouveau objects casting a new light on a less known aspect of Hofstätter's passion as a collector.
The book auction on 28th June brought an absolute rarity in the form of a seminal volume on early modern anatomy. The hand-coloured 1543 first edition of „De humani corporis fabrica libri septem“ (On the architecture of the human body) by Andreas Vesalius, a physician practising in Padua, was sold for  €367,237 to a bidder personally present at the auction. This represents the highest winning bid for a book at a Dorotheum auction to date.


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