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The Prayer Before the Meal

Sotheby’s London will offer Jan Havicksz. Steen’s remarkable The Prayer Before the Meal, from Sudeley Castle, estimated at £5-7 million, in its forthcoming Old Master & British Paintings Evening Sale Including Three Masterworks from Chatsworth on 5th December 2012.

Other highlights include Pieter Brueghel the Younger’s A Wedding Procession, estimated at £2-3 million and two important Italian view paintings by Gaspar van Wittel, called Vanvitelli and Bernardo Bellotto. The sale will conclude with a supremely rare and important drawing by Raffaello Sanzio, called Raphael; and by two 15th century illuminated manuscripts – among the most important of their kind ever to be auctioned. All three come to sale from the Devonshire Collection at Chatsworth House.[i] Comprising 51 lots, the auction is estimated to achieve a total in excess of £35.6 million.

Alex Bell, Sotheby’s Head of Old Master Paintings commented: “December’s sale will offer collectors an unprecedented selection of masterpieces from private collections. In addition to the three masterworks from Chatsworth, Jan Steen’s remarkable and intimate The Prayer Before the Meal leads a field of quite outstanding Dutch cabinet paintings, and from the early Italian Renaissance we are offering four exceptionally rare Scenes from the Passion of Christ  by Niccolò di Pietro Gerini. Not only are many of the works making their first appearance on the auction market for generations, but their treasured status has ensured they are in a wonderful state of preservation."

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