Offered by Schloss Ahlden (25% buyer’s premium) on September 4 for €46,000, The Fat Peasant and the Merchant, painted on an oak panel, 6½in diameter (17cm), was one of dozens of similarly sized paintings depicting aspects of Dutch rural life that Brueghel painted over his career. This particular example, one of the rarer motifs, is thought to have been painted sometime after 1616.
While Pieter re-created many of his father’s works, this motif was most probably an original composition by the son himself and as such attracted considerable interest.
Bidding was intense and prolonged: the hammer fell at €185,000 (£158,120) after a dealer from the Benelux region proved to be the most determined.
Also worthy of note was the result for a pair of Meissen porcelain vases from the second half of the 19th century.
Their special feature was the décor in Limoges painting. The technique from the famous French manufacture was introduced in Meissen by Ernst August Leuteritz in 1865. It involved applying numerous layers of slip to build up a complex surface. The first Meissen models using this style of decoration were presented to the public at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1867.
The vases in the auction with lavish gilding were decorated with figural scenes from classical antiquity. They were knocked down to a Russian collector for €48,000 (£41,025).