Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Raphael Cartoon Sale

The poor old Duke of Devonshire is feeling the pinch, so he's putting up for auction three masterpieces from the Devonshire Collection, which is housed at Chatsworth in Derbyshire. This superb Head of a Young Apostle (c. 1519-20) by Raphael, a working cartoon for a figure in his Transfiguration, is alone estimated at £10m to £15m. Then there are two brilliant illuminated manuscripts from the 15th Century, both of great historical importance: Mystere de la Vengeance (1468) and Deeds of Sir Gillion de Trazegnies in the Middle East (1464) worth £3m to £6m each. All three works come up for grabs in Sotheby’s Evening Sale of Old Master Paintings and Drawings in London on 5 December (CLICK). If they go to foreign buyers, Arts Council England will bust a gut to keep them in the UK on behalf of his lordship. Remember the unwritten Waverley Criterion? If the work was owned by a British aristocrat, it becomes British heritage and is worth saving for the nation (CLICK).


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