NO YOU’RE NOT SEEING DOUBLE!
‘Dorfstrasse’ by Alfons Walde, (Austrian, 1891-1958) Christie’s London, 11 October 1995
‘Dorfstrasse’ by Alfons Walde, (Austrian, 1891-1958) Dorotheum Auction House, Austria, 6 December 1995
Moving on from our previous Blog; “THE SWITCH? ALEC BALDWIN SUES MANHATTAN ART DEALER’ Thursday 22nd September 2016 – Whilst browsing through our Antique Trade Gazette archive, I came across this interesting article of 23rd & 30th December 1995 which I would like to share with you. It puts the BEWARE! into BUYER BEWARE and warns anyone thinking of purchasing fine art to always err on the side of caution.
Viennese Auction House Dorotheum ‘Classical Modern Pictures’ 6th December 1995 – “Alfons Walde’s (Austrian, 1891-1958) 1931 oil on canvas Dorfstrasse, of a street scene in an Austrian mountain village, failed to sell against hope of a £133,335 to 166,665 estimate. High hopes indeed, considering an identical view was sold at Christie’s in London on October 11 (1995), where it raised £150,000. Admittedly this was well above the estimate of £50,000 to 70,000, but the price was heralded as a record for the artist and was unlikely to be bettered, even for the ‘same’ picture on his home turf.
Both paintings measured 29 1/2 x 47 1/4 Inches – large for the artist, and both had been authenticated by the Walde expert Dr Gert Ammann.
Both works carried the artist’s signed woodcut label on the back, but Christie’s version, bought by the vendor’s parents in the 1930’s and sold here to a European collector was also signed on the front.
Dorotheum’s resident expert was unavailable for comment.
It is true to say the art world is fickle at the best of times and this serves only to add to it’s fascination and appeal. However, our advice would be to always where possible seek a provenance for the work.
We look forward to seeing you in the Gallery.
Claire Moore BA(Hons)