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Old Masters/New Scholars: Works of Art to Benefit Rugby School

Realised £14,794,125 / $18,818,128 / €16,525,039
Led by Record Breaking Price for Lucas van Leyden’s Very Rare Drawing
Registered bidders from 33 countries across 5 continents

London  – WEBWIRE

Having been carefully selected to ensure that nothing intrinsic to the history of Rugby School was sold, the sale Old Masters/New Scholars: Works of Art to Benefit Rugby School on 4 December realised a total of £14,794,125 / $18,818,128 / €16,525,039, far exceeding all pre-sale expectations. 83% sold by lot and 99% sold by value, the sale inspired widespread interest from across the globe with registered bidders from 33 countries across 5 continents. Over 40% of the lots were sold to or directly underbid by online bidders on Christie’s LiveTM. The star of the sale, Lucas van Leyden’s very rare drawing, A young man standing, sparked fierce competition between three bidders, resulting in it selling for £11,483,750/ $14,607,330/ €12,827,349, far exceeding its pre-sale estimate (in the region of £1.5 million). This result sets not only a new world record price for the artist at auction, it makes van Leyden only the second Old Master – joining Raphael – with a drawing selling over £10 million. Four auction records were set, including a new record price at auction for a work on paper by Sir Edward Poynter P.R.A..

Jane Blood, Christie’s Head of Sale: “It has been a great pleasure and privilege to have been entrusted with the sale of works of art from Rugby School. We are thrilled with the result for the beautiful drawing by Lucas van Leyden, an extraordinary rarity which sold for £11,483,750, setting a new world record price at auction for the artist and for a Northern European Old Master drawing. Sir Edward John Poynter’s unusually large and recently re-discovered drawing sold for £332,750 setting a new world record price for a work on paper by the artist. New and existing collectors, institutions and Rugbeians alike have participated across all categories and we are delighted that some of the proceeds will go towards a new museum space at Rugby School to inspire the collectors of future generations.” 

Peter Green, Head Master of Rugby School: ‘We are very grateful to those benefactors who bequeathed such an impressive collection of artworks to Rugby School, and we are delighted with the outcome of today’s sale. We shall be using a portion of the proceeds to create a newly designated museum space on the School site for that part of our collection which is intrinsic to the history of the School and which was not part of the auction. This will allow us to ensure that the remaining collections and the School archives are correctly stored and preserved, and are also appropriately displayed for the wider benefit of the Rugbeian community. The School’s Governing Body will now consider how to ensure the rest of the proceeds are used to benefit the School’s current and future students in keeping with the benefactors’ wishes.’

For the top ten lots please see separate document; for the full results of the auction please visit

About Christie’s

Christie’s, the world’s leading art business, had global auction, private and digital sales in the first half of 2018 that totalled £2.97 billion / $4.04 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie’s also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.

Alongside regular sales online, Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries, with 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees

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