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section heading icon     landmarks to 1901

This page highlights some landmarks in the sale of old master paintings, stamps, manuscripts, furniture and other collectibles.

It covers -

Context is provided by the broader communications, information technology and media timeline on this site.

Figures are in historic rather than contemporary dollars and pounds. Indication of value are provided in the calculators highlighted elsewhere on this site. Using some measures Augustus III's payment for a Raphael in 1754 might for example be the equivalent of US$1.3 billion.

Robert Hughes cautioned that such

figures are very impressionistic: converting art prices between sterling and dollars across a time-gap of 200 years is fraught with wild variables and may be no more accurate than the effort to convert wampum to lire.

     pre-1849

1650

Raphael painting - £2,000

1754

Sistine Madonna
by Raphael - £8,500

1762

George III buys 53 Canaletto paintings and 140 drawings by Giovanni Antonio Canal aka 'Canaletto' (1697-1768) for £20,000

1799

Landing of Aeneas
and The Sacrifice to Apollo by Claude Lorraine - £6,825

1806

Wynkyn de Worde's Rycharde Cure de Lyon (1528) - £47

1812

Christ Healing the Sick
by Benjamin West - £3,150

Valdarfer edition of Boccaccio's Decameron (1471) - £2,260

1813

The Lacemaker
by Jan Vermeer - £7

1819

Valdarfer edition of Boccaccio's Decameron (1471) £750

1833

Napoleon's tortoiseshell walking-stick - £38

1841

Seascape, Folkestone
(1840) by Joseph Mallord William Turner - 250 guineas

Giudecca, La Donna della Salute & San Giorgio by Turner - 250 guineas

1847

Mazarin Bible - £500

     1850

1853

live Canary - US$25

1855

Bay Psalter (1640) - £80

1858

Mazarin Bible - £595

1860

The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple (1860) by William Holman Hunt - £5,500

1863

Seascape, Folkestone
(1840) by Turner - 1,650 guineas

1864

Shakespeare First Folio - £716

1870

The Lacemaker
by Vermeer - £51

1874

Nativity
by Piero della Francesca - £2,500

1875

The Grand Canal
by Turner - £7,350

The Gross Clinic (1875) by Thomas Eakins - US$200

La Loge (1874) by Renoir - FFr220

1876

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (1787) by Gainsborough - £10,100

1878

Modern Rome - Campo Vaccino (1839) by Turner -
4,450 guineas

1879

Madonna of the Rocks
(1508) by Leonardo da Vinci - £9,000

1881

Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid
by Vermeer - 60,000 Francs

1882

Babylonian Marriage Market (1875) by Edwin Long - £7,350

Spenser's Faërie Queene (1596) - £33

1884

Gutenberg Bible - £3,900

Mainz Psalter (1457) - £4,950

1886

Chant d'amour (1868) by Edward Burne-Jones - £3,307

1887

Young Woman With a Water Pitcher
(1662) by Vermeer - US$800

Highland Raid by Rosa Bonheur - £4,059

1891

Caxton edition of Legenda Aurea (1483) - £465

1893

manuscript of Walter Scott's Life of Swift - £230

1894

The Presentation in the Temple
by Giotto - US$7,500

1895

Death of Lucretia
by Sandro Botticelli - US$15,000

Poe's Tamerlane - US$1,450

1896

Rape of Europa
by Titian - US$21,000

1897

Seascape, Folkestone
(1840) by Turner - 6,800 guineas

Giudecca, La Donna della Salute & San Giorgio by Turner - 6,800 guineas

1898

Romans d’amour et de la jeunesse
(1771) by Jean-Honore Fragonard - US$0.35m

Bindo Altoviti bust by Benvenuto Cellini - US$50,000

Love and the Pilgrim (1896) by Burne-Jones - £5,775

1899

Madonna of the Eucharist
by Botticelli - US$65,000







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