Bonhams Auction of 19th Century Paintings, Drawings and Watercolour Totals £1.7 million

Bonhams sale of 19th Century Paintings, Drawings and Watercolour on October 28, made a total of £1.7 million, with images of Venice providing four of the top ten items in the sale.

Peter Rees, of Bonhams Picture Department said: “We saw some excellent results for both Continental and British works. With the continuing strength of the Euro, the market for good quality European paintings remains especially competitive.”

Franz Richard Unterberger“Among the many highlights were a number of highly decorative views of Venice. Such was the popularity of Venice as a destination for prosperous tourists and travellers, that many accomplished artists set themselves up as vedute painters, producing highly detailed views of the cities canals, buildings and piazzas. The sale included fine examples by two of the greatest masters of the genre, with Santa Barnaba by Franz Richard Unterberger (Austrian 1838-1902) selling for £98,000 and Canale san Giuseppe by Federico del Campo (Peruvian 1837-1923) achieving £90,000. An unusual view of the Grand Canal in Winter by Federico Moja (Italian 1802-1885) sold for £45,000, while The Piazza San Marco by Moonlight by Federico Nerly (Italian 1824-1919) totalled £69,000.”

Among other Continental highlights were Lost in thought by Frederick Carl Erik Torner (Swedish 1862-1911), an important discovery in the oeuvre of a little-known artist, which sold for £60,000; At the Spring by Vlaho Bukovac (Croatian 1855 1922), which totalled £57,000; and Orange Sellers by Theodor von Hormann (Austrian 1840-1895), selling for £45,000.

In the Victorian Paintings section of the sale, the highlight was a typically fine moonlit scene by John Atkinson Grimshaw (British 1836-1893). Grimshaw continues to appeal to collectors at auction, and this small example sold for £87,000.

The sale offered a rare opportunity to purchase a work by Joseph Mallord William Turner, RA (British 1775-1851). Antiquities of Pola, a watercolour executed in 1817, proved popular among bidders, finally selling for £72,000.

Among other British highlights were £56,000 achieved for a view of the Glaslyn Valley, Wales, by Sidney Richard Percy (British 1821-1886), and £31,000 achieved for The Young Gallant by Frederick Morgan, ROI (British 1847-1927).

Bonhams is now inviting entries for its next sale of 19th Century Paintings, Drawing and Watercolours, which will take place on Wednesday 21st April 2010.

Image: Franz Richard Unterberger (Austrian, 1838-1902)
Santa Barnaba, Venice
signed ‘F R Unterberger’ (lower right)
oil on canvas
82.5 x 70.5cm (32 1/2 x 27 3/4in).
Sold for £98,400 inclusive of Buyer’s Premium