Sotheby’s had understandably high expectations for the George Stubbs masterwork “Brood Mares and Foals.” It had remained in the same aristocratic British family collection since it was painted in 1768, and had never before been offered for sale. As it happened, the painting sold for just over its low estimate, but even so the $15.94 million it fetched at yesterday’s Old Masters & British Paintings sale in London was a new world auction record for Stubbs.
All told, the evening auction brought in $37,054,556 and scored a number of new artist auction records. Among the surprises of the evening was Luis de Morales’ “The Virgin and Child,” which sold for $2.54 million, almost five times its highest estimate.
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