Murillo Sketches Prove Highlights of Bonhams July Old Master Paintings Sale

Two sketches by the Spanish master Murillo (1618-1682) – Saint Peter receiving the Key, and The Baptism of Christ – were the highlights of Bonhams July Old Masters Sale at New Bond Street. Sold as one lot, they achieved £100,063, having been estimated at £60,000-80,000. The sale made at total of £1,795,000 with 64% sold by lot, and 71% by value.

Bonhams Group Head of Pictures Caroline Oliphant commented: "The sale was designed to appeal to a wide range of tastes and we are pleased that so many collectors responded with such enthusiasm and spirited bidding, on the phone, in the room and – particularly – online."

Other highlights of the sale, which was held over two days on 7 and 8 July, included:

The Feast of Absalom by Mattia Preti (1613-1699). Sold for £98,813 (estimate: £20,000-30,000).

Portrait of a Gentleman by Ambrosius Benson (1495-1550). Sold for £81,313 (estimate £70,000-100,000).

The Madonna and Child with Angels by Gherardo di Giovanni (1446-circa 1497). Sold for £56,313 (estimate: £3,000-5,000).

Martha and Mary by Onofrio Palumbo (active Naples circa 1650). Sold for £48,313 (estimate: £7,000-10,000).

Additionally, a charming double portrait of twin sisters, said to be Marmiana and Philippa Dymoke de Ludlowe, by a painter in the circle of William Larkin (1580-1619) sold for £37,563. It had been estimated at £20,000-30,000.

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