At Bonhams Old Master Paintings Sale In London

A painting recently attributed to the Italian Baroque painter Andrea Sacchi (1599-1661), is among the highlights of Bonhams Old Master Paintings sale in London on Wednesday 5 December. Daedalus fastening wings on his son Icarus has an estimate of £250,000-350,000.

Bonhams Head of Old Master Paintings Andrew McKenzie said:" Andrea Sacchi occupied an important and influential position in the development of Baroque art, tempering some of its flamboyance and theatricality with a restrained and pure form of classicism. This attribution is of major significance; no comparable, fully authenticated work which displays Sacchi's crucial place in art history has appeared at auction in recent years."

The work illustrates an episode from Ovid's Metamorphoses. Daedalus, the designer of the Labyrinth on Crete, was held against his will on the island, with his son Icarus, by King Minos. In a bid to escape, Daedalus created wings from feathers and fixed them to their shoulders with wax. He warned his son not to fly too close to the water in case the spray soaked the wings, nor too close to the sun in case the wax should melt. Famously, Icarus thought he knew better, soared too high and plunged into the Mediterranean at a spot now known as the Icarian Sea. The myth is the origin of the phrase 'flying too close to the sun,' applied to people who are over-ambitious.

Other highlights of the sale include:

- A still life of a porcelain vase holding a floral bouquet by Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder (1573-1621). It has been dated to 1609/10 by the leading specialist in Dutch and Flemish 17th century still-life painting, Dr Fred Meijer. It was Dr Meijer who, in 2001, first identified the painting as the work of Bosschaert the Elder. Estimate: £400,000-600,000.

- The Adoration of the Magi by Matthias Stom (circa 1600-circa 1652). The painting is being sold to benefit the Mayhew Animal Home based in White City, London. Estimate: £70,000-100,000.

- La Jarretière by Louis-Léopold Boilly (1761-1845). The work once belonged to Sir Richard Wallace, whose collection of art, porcelain, furniture and arms and armor is on display at the Wallace Collection in London. Estimate: £50,000-70,000.


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers, offering fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewelry. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with auctions also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full list of forthcoming auctions, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit

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