The 2ft x 20in (62 x 52cm) walnut panel, which came from a German collection, was attributed to Luis de Morales (1509-86), who was known as El Divino, or his studio, and conservatively guided at €10,000-15,000 on July 14.
Bidders from around the world saw their opportunity and in a seemingly never-ending exchange of bids the price was driven into six figures with the hammer falling at €910,000 (£784,480). The buyer prefers to remain anonymous.
Rachel Ruysch (1664-1750) was an early starter, having been introduced to the secrets of botany and the art of painting at a very young age by her father, an anatomy professor in Amsterdam.
Aged 15, she began her formal training with the still-life painter Willem van Aelst. This marked the start of a successful career; her floral still-lifes were highly sought after and cost as much as 500 guilders, a remarkable sum in those days.
The sale at Hampel (29.5% buyer’s premium) in Munich on June 24-25 showed that today’s collectors still appreciate her work. A 13 x 11in (33 x 28cm) canvas, signed and dated 1640, was a characteristically elegant composition with, among other objects, marigolds, morning glory, a passion flower and insects.
It passed through the hands of dealer Johnny Van Haeften in the 1980s and was last sold by Sotheby’s in 2013. In Munich it was expected to bring €80,000-100,000.
In the end it was knocked down to a European collector for €115,000 (£99,140).