Old Masters Week
December 2-9, Christie’s, London
With paintings and drawings representing over 500 years of European history, estimates for this auction range from £500 to over £5m. Top lot is “Portrait of Juan López de Robredo” by Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828), considered the greatest Spanish painter of his time. Offered at auction for the first time in almost 20 years, the work should reach £3m-£4m. Further highlights include “The Battle between Carnival and Lent” by Pieter Brueghel II (£3.5m-£4.5m) and a portrait of Philip Stanhope, by Thomas Gainsborough (£2.5m-£3.5m).
Old Master Paintings
December 7, Bonhams, London
Centrepiece of this auction is the sale of a previously unknown bust-length portrait of a gentleman by Velázquez (est. £2m-£3m), attributed to the Spanish painter following extensive research by Bonhams, and confirmation by one expert that the “weight and colours of the fleshy face…betray its author”. Another lost masterpiece, Adriaen Coorte’s “Still Life of Peaches” is listed at £300,000-£500,000.
December 15, Bonhams, London
Rock and roll memorabilia goes under the hammer at Bonhams, with show programmes, autographs, instruments and photographs filling 379 lots. With a list price of £30,000-£40,000, Rolling Stones fans can bid for the original album cover artwork of Let It Bleed by Robert Brownjohn, featuring a flamboyant cake made by the then little-known Delia Smith. A cheaper alternative can be found in lot 241 – “two unusual pictures of the Beatles and Rolling Stones” from 1967, listed at £50-£75.