The 11½ x 7½in (29 x 19cm) oak panel painting was offered on June 19 in a sale of works from the collection of Madame Michel Binoche that was held by Fraysse & Associés in association with Binoche et Giquello (26.6/22/12% buyer’s premium).
It was painted by Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder (1673-21), is monogrammed and shows a rich variety of flowers placed in a northern style drinking glass, or roemer, set on a ledge against a landscape backdrop.
Bosschaert was the first artist to place his flower studies against a landscape.
Only around 60 of these flower studies are known, all belonging to the later period of the artist’s career between 1619-21. Of these, just eight, including this one, are set against a landscape ground in this way.
Many of the flowers, which are rendered with botanical accuracy and include specimens from across all the seasons, would have carried a symbolic religious significance at the time (the rose without thorns symbolising universal love, for example, or the carnation Christ’s Passion)
This hitherto unpublished painting had a provenance back to the 1890s when it was acquired at a Drouot auction by a Monsieur Marc as a ‘Velvet Breughel’ (one of the monikers given to Jan Brueghel the elder) as detailed by a label on the back. Subsequently it remained in the family of Maitre André Benoist (d.1969), passing down by descent.
The price led half-a-dozen individual premium-inclusive results of over €1m that helped to take the Drouot’s half year turnover figure to €201m for the 569 sales held in the first six months of the year.