Carl Moll painting sells for record $4.7M at Freeman’s

Carl Moll painting

Carl Moll (Austrian, 1861-1945), ‘Weißes Interieur’ (White Interior). Sold for $4,756,000. Freeman’s image

PHILADELPHIA – Freeman’s European Art & Old Masters auction on Feb. 23 surpassed $6.4 million – the best fine art sale total that Freeman’s has ever recorded. With spirited bidding throughout the sale from bidders both online and on the telephone, the 67-lot auction achieved an impressive 90% sell-through rate and nearly quadrupled its presale high estimate. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

The highlight of the sale was the stellar result achieved for Carl Moll’s White Interior (above). After extensive, competitive bidding both online and from a dozen telephone bidders located around the world, the work shattered the previous world auction record of $385,653 and ultimately sold to a private American collector for $4,756,000 – more than 8 times its high estimate. It is believed the buyer has the intention to exhibit the painting at The Neue Galerie in New York in the future. The significant painting is Freeman’s highest-selling lot to date, surpassing the house’s 2011 record of $3.1 million achieved by an important Imperial white jade seal from the Qianlong period.

“Today’s sale set a new house record for Freeman’s with the sale of a stunning painting by the Austrian artist Carl Moll which fetched nearly $4.8 million. It was a privilege to have been entrusted with such an exceptional work that had been in the same family for over a hundred years. The consignors are understandably thrilled,” said David Weiss, who headed the auction.

There was great interest in fresh-to-market works from private and institutional collections, including The Calm Sea, Nocturne (below) by Jacob Schikaneder, which more than doubled its high estimate to realize $346,500.

Carl Moll painting

Jakob Schikaneder (Czech 1885-1924), ‘The Calm Sea, Nocturne.’ Sold for $346,500. Freeman’s image

Similarly, Roses (Lot 58) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, which was deaccessioned by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond realized over triple its high estimate, selling for $302,400 after a lengthy battle among 19 telephone bidders.

Carl Moll painting

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French, 1841-1919), ‘Roses,’ Sold for $302,400. Freeman’s image

Other notable highlights included the following:

– Yuri (Georgiy) Ivanovich Pimenov’s The Lemonade Stand sold for $91,700, more than six times its high estimate;

Carl Moll painting

Yuri (Georgiy) Ivanovich Pimenov (Russian, 1903–1977), ‘The Lemonade Stand.’ Sold for $91,700. Freeman’s image

– Gustav Klimt’s, Dame Wittgenstein (Study for Bildnis Margaret Stonborough-Wittgenstein), which surpassed its high estimate, achieving $88,200;

Carl Moll painting

Gustav Klimt (Austrian, 1862–1918), ‘Dame Wittgenstein’ (Study for Bildnis Margaret Stonborough-Wittgenstein). Sold for $88,200. Freeman’s image

Étude pour Le Martyre de Saint Procès et Saint Martinien by Valentin de Boulogne,  a recently authenticated bozzetto and the first and only one to ever come on the market, realized $78,750, more than doubling its high estimate;

Venus at the Forge of Vulcan, a work from the Neapolitan School (17th century), which was once a part of the Getty Museum’s collection, sold for $47,250, more than six times its high estimate;

La Sympathie (Lot 61) by Hippolyte Petitjean sold for $44,100, surpassing its high estimate;

Un Témoin Muet (Lot 51) by Evariste Carpentier realized $30,240, three times its high estimate.

For sale inquiries contact David Weiss,


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