Market United Kingdom

Raphael drawing fetches record price

Duke of Devonshire's Head of a Young Apostle sells at Sotheby's London for £29.7m

Sold for £29.7m: Raphael's Head of a Young Apostle, around 1519-20

Raphael's late chalk drawing, Head of a Young Apostle, around 1519-20, sold at Sotheby's in London tonight (5 December) for £29.7m, doubling its £10m-£15m estimate (which does not include the buyer's premium, although the final price does). This is the highest price paid for a work by the artist at auction, narrowly beating the £29.2m made by his Head of a Muse (another chalk drawing), around 1511, at Christie's at the equivalent London sales in 2009. The work was sold by the Duke of Devonshire in order to fund the costs of running his stately home at Chatsworth in Derbyshire and benefit its collection. The drawing had been at Chatsworth for more than 300 years. Meanwhile, there was disappointment for the duke as one of the other three works he was selling this evening—a 1465 illuminated manuscript commissioned by Philip the Good, La Mystère de la Vengeance—went unsold (estimate £4m-£6m). But a second manuscript, the Deeds of Sir Gillion de Trazegnies in the Middle East, 1464, sold for £3.8m (est £3m-£5m), bought by the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

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