Christie’s Expects to Break Auction Records with Rembrandt and Raphael Sale Next Week

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LONDON (REUTERS).- Christie’s is confident the recession is well and truly over in the world of fine art, with a record old masters sale in London next week that includes important works by Rembrandt, Raphael and Il Domenichino. The world’s largest auctioneer is calling its December 8 old masters and 19th-century auction a “landmark,” and pre-sale estimates range from 45-63 million pounds ($75-105 million), its highest ever for such a sale. “This auction promises to be a landmark sale for the art market,” said Richard Knight, international co-head of old masters at Christie’s. “The (old masters) market has shown great stability over the last year and … collectors continue to seize opportunities to acquire works which rarely appear on the market.” Unlike other sectors of the art market, notably contemporary and Russian, values of old master works have held up relatively well during the financial downturn.