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Mauritshuis Scores Painting by Rembrandt’s Teacher, and Nationalmuseum Acquires Two 18th-Century Drawings

Plus, University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries acquires a rare 15th century French Gothic coffer, and Nelson and Happy Rockefeller’s collection sells at auction.

Pieter Lastman, "De prediking van Johannes de Doper [St John the Baptist Preaching]" (1627), 60 x 92 cm (image courtesy Schilderij and Mauritshuis)
Pieter Lastman, “De prediking van Johannes de Doper [St John the Baptist Preaching]” (1627), 60 x 92 cm (image courtesy Schilderij and Mauritshuis)
The Mauritshuis in the Netherlands has acquired the painting “St John the Baptist Preaching” (1627) by Pieter Lastman, “Rembrandt’s most influential teacher.” The painting was purchased from a US owner with funds from the Friends of the Mauritshuis Foundation and a private donor. “We have been on the lookout for an outstanding example of Lastman’s work, due to the impact he had on the young Rembrandt,” said Emilie Gordenker, Director of the Mauritshuis. “We are extremely grateful to everyone who made our wish come true, especially the private donor and the Friends of the Mauritshuis.”

Johann-Ernst Heinsius, "Portrait of a Woman Looking to the Right" (photo by Cecilia Heisser/Nationalmuseum)
Johann-Ernst Heinsius, “Portrait of a Woman Looking to the Right” (photo by Cecilia Heisser/Nationalmuseum)
Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée, "Self-Portrait" (1778) (photo by Cecilia Heisser/Nationalmuseum)
Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée, “Self-Portrait” (1778) (photo by Cecilia Heisser/Nationalmuseum)

Nationalmuseum in Sweden has acquired two 18th century portrait drawings: a self-portrait of Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée (1778) and a portrait of an unknown woman by Johann-Ernst Heinsius. The drawings were acquired through grants from the Hedda & N.D. Qvist Memorial Fund and the Magda and Max Ettler Fund, as the Nationalmuseum receives no state funds with which to acquire work.

Andrea Soldi, Isabella Duchess of Manchester (1738) (image courtesy Whitfield Fine Art and the Foundling Museum)
Andrea Soldi, “Isabella, Duchess of Manchester” (1738) (image courtesy Whitfield Fine Art and the Foundling Museum)

The Foundling Museum in London has acquired a painting by 18th century artists Andrea Soldi of Isabella, Duchess of Manchester. Soldi was a key supporter of the Foundling Hospital, founded in 1739, and she signed founder Thomas Coram’s petition in 1730. Funds for this acquisition were provided by Art Fund, the Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, the Friends of Thomas Coram, and individual donors. The painting will go on view in the Foundling Museum’s Picture Gallery.

Coffer (image courtesy Bodleian Libraries and Richard Cave)
Coffer (image courtesy Bodleian Libraries and Richard Cave)

University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries has acquired a rare 15th century French Gothic coffer thought to have been used for holding and transporting religious texts. While thousands of manuscripts and books have survived from medieval Europe, just a little over 100 book coffers are known to exist. The coffer, acquired from a dealer, was purchased with the help of Art Fund, the Bodleian’s Kenneth Rose Fund, and the Friends of the Bodleian. The inside lid of the coffer contains an image from circa 1491, along with a Latin prayer that was used as a chant on special feast days. The box is currently on display in the exhibition Thinking Inside the Box in the Bodleian’s Weston Library, where it will remain until February 17. The coffer will be available to researchers as well.

Ammi Phillips, "Girl in a Red Dress with a Dog" (c. 1830–35), oil on canvas, 32 1/2 x 26 3/4 inches (image courtesy Christie's)
Ammi Phillips, “Girl in a Red Dress with a Dog” (c. 1830–35), oil on canvas, 32 1/2 x 26 3/4 inches (image courtesy Christie’s)

Christie’s sale of Important American Furniture, Folk Art, Silver, and Prints in New York brought in a total of $7,926,500 on January 17–18. The sale’s top lot, Ammi Phillips’s “Girl in a Red Dress with a Dog” (c. 1830–35), sold for $1,692,500.

Henry Darger, "148 At Jennie Richee During fury of storm are unsuccessfully attached [sic] by Glandelinians/149 At Jennie Richee narrowly escape capture but Blengins come to rescue, double sided," detail, cropped, watercolor, carbon transfer, ink, graphite and collage on pieced paper, 108 1/4 x 23 inches (image courtesy Christie's)
Henry Darger, “148 At Jennie Richee During fury of storm are unsuccessfully attached [sic] by Glandelinians/149 At Jennie Richee narrowly escape capture but Blengins come to rescue, double sided,” detail, cropped, watercolor, carbon transfer, ink, graphite and collage on pieced paper, 108 1/4 x 23 inches (image courtesy Christie’s)
Christie’s Outsider and Vernacular Art sale in New York brought in a total of $4,261,625 on January 18. The sale’s top lot, Henry Darger’s “148 At Jennie Richee During fury of storm are unsuccessfully attached [sic] by Glandelinians/149 At Jennie Richee narrowly escape capture but Blengins come to rescue, double sided,” sold for $684,500.

A massive pair of painted enamel plaques, Qianlong Period (1736–95), 29 3/4 inches high each (image courtesy Christie's)
A massive pair of painted enamel plaques, Qianlong Period (1736–95), 29 3/4 inches high each (image courtesy Christie’s)

Christie’s Chinese Export Art Featuring the Hodroff Collection, Part IV sale in New York brought in a total of $1,794,125 on January 17. The sale’s top lot, a massive pair of painted enamel plaques from the Qianlong Period (1736–95), sold for $150,000.

Joshua Johnson, ”Dr. Andrew Aitkin (1757-1809), Mrs. Andrew Aitkin (Elizabeth Aiken, 1761-1811) and her daughter, Eliza Aitkin (1798-1885)” (c. 1805), oil on canvas, 32 x 26 3/4 inches (image courtesy Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s sale of Important Americana in New York brought in a total of $6,800,750 on January 17–20. The sale’s top lot, Joshua Johnson’s “Dr. Andrew Aitkin (1757–1809), Mrs. Andrew Aitkin (Elizabeth Aitken, 1761–1811) and her Daughter, Eliza Aitken (1798–1885)” (c.1805) sold for $675,000.

Long-Billed Curlew (1880–90), American School, 19th century, polychromed wood decoy with wax eye, height 4 3/4 inches by length 21 1/2 inches, Salem, Massachusetts area (image courtesy Sotheby's)
Long-Billed Curlew (1880–90), American School, 19th century, polychromed wood decoy with wax eye, height 4 3/4 inches by length 21 1/2 inches, Salem, Massachusetts area (image courtesy Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s The History of Now: The Important American Folk Art Collection of David Tieger / Sold to Benefit Teiger Foundation for the Support of Contemporary Art sale in New York brought in a total of $2,528,064 on January 20. The sale’s top lot, a Long-Billed Curlew from the American School, 19th century, sold for $350,000.

The Important Fairbanks Family Pilgrim Century Turned and Red-Painted Maple Spindle-Back Great Chair, Attributed to Ephraim Tinkham, Plymouth or Middleboro, Plymouth County, Massachusetts (c. 1680), height 41 3/4 inches (image courtesy Sotheby's)
The Important Fairbanks Family Pilgrim Century Turned and Red-Painted Maple Spindle-Back Great Chair, Attributed to Ephraim Tinkham, Plymouth or Middleboro, Plymouth County, Massachusetts (c. 1680), height 41 3/4 inches (image courtesy Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s The Collection of Anne H. Frederick Vogel III sale in New York brought in a total of $4,183,438 on January 19. The sale’s top lot, the important Fairbanks family pilgrim century turned and red-painted maple spindle-back great chair, attributed to Ephraim Tinkham, Plymouth or Middleboro, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, circa 1680, sold for $125,000.

A rare Chinese export crab-form tureen and cover, Qing dynasty, Qianlong Period, width 8 3/4 inches (image courtesy Sotheby's)
A rare Chinese export crab-form tureen and cover, Qing dynasty, Qianlong Period, width 8 3/4 inches (image courtesy Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s A Collecting Legacy: Property from the Collection of Nelson & Happy Rockefeller sale in New York brought in a total of $3,30,565 on January 18. The sale’s top lot, a rare Chinese export crab-form tureen and cover, Qing dynasty, Qianlong Period, sold for $375,000.

A pair of large scale Swedish gilt-bronze mounted Blyberg porphyry vases, by the Elfdahls Porfyrwerk, the mounts, Paris (c. 1830), 3feet, 3 1/2 inches x 2 feet, 5 inches (image courtesy Sotheby's)
A pair of large scale Swedish gilt-bronze mounted Blyberg porphyry vases, by the Elfdahls Porfyrwerk, the mounts, Paris (c. 1830), 3feet, 3 1/2 inches x 2 feet, 5 inches (image courtesy Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s Royal & Noble sale in London brought in a total of £2,360,727 (~$3,085,000) on January 17. The sale’s top lot, a pair of large scale Swedish gilt-bronze mounted Blyberg porphyry vases, by the Elfdahls Porfyrwerk, the mounts, Paris circa 1830, sold for £250,000 (~$327,000).

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