The room was crowded, and telephones working on almost all lots. Massimo Bartolozzi hammered the auction and, with more than 40 years of experience, he managed to draw the attention of all buyers for more than six hours, the time needed to finish the 500 lots forming the rich catalogue.
The lots included books and collections belonging to Francesco Malaguzzi Valeri (1867–1928), one of the most important Italian art historians, who worked at Brera Art Gallery to reorganize the rooms and to write the general catalogue of the paintings (since 1903). Since 1914, he was the director of Bologna Art Gallery and superintendent of all galleries in Bologna and in Romagna Region. He was also the author of various essays and releases on Emilia Romagna and Lombardy paintings.
The rich book collection realized an income of almost 100,000 euros, with 95% of the lots sold and an increase of 200% of the estimated value. Then, the collection of ancient drawings performed adjudications three or four times their estimates. Among these, it is worth mentioning the adjudication for 4,200 euros for a beautiful 16th-century ink on paper, representing a Madonna with Child.
When at lot number 300, the section
of furnishings and old master paintings started. For most of the lots we already had written or telephonic offers, but we were truly surprised by the salesroom, full and rich of a renewed enthusiasm.
Furnishings adjudications were great.
Just consider that a small Parmesan Louis XVI chest of drawers in solid walnut estimated 3,000-3,500 euros, was sold for 8,700 euros; or that a pair of chests of drawers estimated 3,000-3,500 euros each, were sold together for more than 18,500 euros. As expected, top lot of the furnishings was a beautiful
Louis XV bureau from Emilia in veneered walnut root, sold for almost 50,000 euros starting from an estimate of 25,000-30,000 euros.
The collection of old master paintings from 14th to 18th century was extremely interesting. Among these, it is worth mentioning two wooden panels with portraits of Augustinian monks by Giovanni Mazone (1433–1512) that, despite the notification of high historical and artistic interest by the Superintendence office, were bought by an important Italian collector for 25,000 euros, or the Bolognese 16th-century cross that, with an estimate of 6,000-8,000 euros, was sold for more than 16,000 euros. Top lots were the beautiful head of child by Ubaldo Gandolfi (1728–1781) (with an estimate of 15,000-18,000 euros) and the Parmesan angel’s head (with an estimate of 3,000-3,500 euros), respectively sold for 36,000 and 35,000 euros.
The sale continued with some lots of Genoese provenance: an important noble family put on sale two marble dogs estimated 8,000-10,000 euros and sold for over 50,000 euros; while a small canvas by Moretto da Brescia (around 1498–1554) was sold to a Lombardy collector for 18,000 euros.