Royal Hanover Painting Smuggled out of Nazi Germany Makes £1,125,600 at Bonhams

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A remarkable painting by one of Rembrandt's colleagues sold at Bonhams on 6 December 2006 for an exceptional £1,125,600 - well over twice its £300,000 - 500,000 estimate.

We are delighted with the sale's success and look forward to developing further Bonhams' place in the market for paintings of such high calibre.

A remarkable painting by one of Rembrandt's colleagues sold at Bonhams on 6 December 2006 for an exceptional £1,125,600 - well over twice its £300,000 - 500,000 estimate. Jan Lievens' Portrait of a Young Girl in profile, which was once in the collection of George V, King of Hanover (1797 - 1857), was reputedly smuggled out of Nazi Germany in 1939, hidden in the bottom of a suitcase and sneaked past a drunken guard, along with Gerard Terborch's Pressing Invitation to Drink, which sold for £162,400.

Considered a child prodigy of his time, Jan Lievens (1607 - 1674) was apprenticed alongside Rembrandt van Rijn and the two artists worked closely together between 1625 and 1631 to such an extent that unsigned works from this period can be difficult to ascribe accurately. The beautifully preserved panel sold at Bonhams depicts a rosy-cheeked girl, captured in profile by a pool of golden light, and the mood is one of immense tranquility, evoking perfectly her state of quiet contemplation. While history has tended to overlook Lievens as yet another Rembrandt follower, art historians have recently argued that his early work is equal to that of Rembrandt and that he was an innovatory force to be reckoned with in his own right. The price achieved at Bonhams strengthens this argument.

FORTNUM AND MASON'S VIEW OF VENICE FETCHES £218,400

A packed saleroom saw fiercely competitive bidding for a number of paintings, pushing hammer prices well beyond estimates. A view of the Piazza san Marco in Venice, attributed to Gianbattista Cimaroli (late 17th century) fetched an incredible £218,400 against its estimate of £50,000 - 70,000, and A capriccio view of Rome sold for £240,800 against £70,000 - 100,000. The sale itself totalled £2,749,800.

"These prices achieved at Bonhams today signify a significantly increased demand for good and important Old Master paintings," explains Peter Flory, Director of Old Master Paintings at Bonhams, and the sale's auctioneer. "We are delighted with the sale's success and look forward to developing further Bonhams' place in the market for paintings of such high calibre."

Further information and images: Frances Godden on 020 7468 8331

Notes to Editors

Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son and Neale UK. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America and in August 2003, Goodmans, a leading Australian fine art and antiques auctioneer with salerooms in Sydney, joined the Bonhams Group of Companies. Today, Bonhams is the third largest and fastest growing auction house in the world with a global network of offices and regional representatives providing sales advice and valuation services in 25 countries. It offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street, and Knightsbridge, and a further 10 throughout the UK. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Boston in the USA; and Switzerland, Monaco, and Australia. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of more than 50 Bonhams specialist departments, go to http://www.bonhams.com. For other press releases, go to http://www.bonhams.com/press.

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Frances Godden
Bonhams
+442074688331
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