Artworks offered in Christie's one-off London Sale were highlighted yesterday (September 3) by the auction of John Atkinson Grimshaw's Southwark Bridge and St Paul's.
The South Kensington sale, which was held in celebration of the iconic city of London, saw the atmospheric piece sell 80.6% above its high estimate of £200,000 for £361,250. The work provided a fitting top lot in the sale with its views of one of London's most famous monuments.
John Atkinson Grimshaw was a Victorian-era artist who is renowned for his arresting cityscapes and fantastic use of light at night. Born in Leeds, UK, he is also noted for having almost no surviving letters or papers, leaving scholars very much in the dark about his life and career.
Grimshaw's work has risen in popularity in the past 15 years, as Southwark Bridge and St Paul's proved yesterday when it came close to beating the record for his work at auction. That title is held by Sixty Years Ago, which sold for £381,000 at another Christie's sale in 1999.
More impressive results at Christie's were supplied by a lot comprised of two works from a follower of the renowned Venetian artist Canaletto. Signed W. James and mimicking the artist's distinctive style, the framed works sold for £34,450 - a 91.3% increase on estimate.
Canaletto's New Horse Guards is expected to beat the world record for his work on October 17, when it features as part of a Vienna auction. The current world record was only set in July, when a previously unrecorded drawing of Venice sold 294.4% above estimate for £1.9m.
The London Sale's most unusual lot, an iconic Routemaster double decker bus, sold with outstanding results, beating its high estimate by 124.4%. The bus was purchased by a South Korean bidder, who reportedly will be taking it home to his native country.
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