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St Clare on the rise

Two rare and recently restituted panels by Sienese artist Giovanni di Paolo (c.1399-1482) topped the December series of Old Master auctions in London.

The highlight of Christie’s evening sale on December 3, the two paintings in tempera and gold came from an altarpiece created for an establishment of St Clare’s order, presumably in Siena.

The first of the predella panels offered measured 7¾ x 11½in (20 x 30cm) and depicted St Clare rescuing the shipwrecked (below). It was estimated at £1.5m-2m. The visionary subject and creative style added to its market freshness as an attractive commercial proposition.

After a strong competition, it sold to a phone buyer who saw off three rivals by repeatedly upping the bidding by ‘double-increments’ of £400,000. Knocked down at £4.5m, it set an auction record for di Paolo. The same buyer secured the following lot, a similarly sized panel showing The Investiture of Saint Clare.

Estimated at £600,000-800,000, it fetched £3m.

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One of the two rare and recently restituted panels by Sienese artist Giovanni di Paolo sold in Christie’s evening sale on December 3.

New Partridge saleroom

Adam Partridge Auctioneers & Valuers opened its third saleroom in north-west England and hired new staff to target consignments from the Lancashire and Lake District areas.

Partridge, which launched in 2008 and has salerooms in Macclesfield and Liverpool and a valuation office in Altrincham, hired senior auctioneer and valuer Steven Parkinson to run the new Preston office and saleroom. Parkinson was previously an auction manager at Thomson Roddick’s Carlisle saleroom for more than eight years.