They’re bullish about this bear market.
A 3-inch by 3-inch drawing of a bear’s head by famed artist Leonardo da Vinci is expected to fetch up to $16.7 million at auction in July.
“Head of Bear,” a silverpoint drawing on a pink-beige paper is “one of less than eight surviving drawings by Leonardo still in private hands outside of the British Royal Collection and the Devonshire Collections at Chatsworth,” Christie’s auction house told Reuters.
If sold for the estimate, the drawing would set a new record for the old master. His highest price for a drawing came in 2001 when his “Horse and Rider” sold for more than $11 million.
“I have every reason to believe we will achieve a new record in July for ‘Head of a Bear’, one of the last drawings by Leonardo that can be expected to come onto the market,” Stijn Alsteens, International Head of Department, Old Masters Group, Christie’s Paris, said in a statement.
And just to set a buyer’s mind at ease, the provenance is impeccable. The drawing’s ownership can be traced to British painter Thomas Lawrence and upon his death in 1830, it was passed to his dealer Samuel Woodburn who sold it to Christie’s in 1860 for 2.50 pounds ($3.50), according to the auction house.
Its current owner has had it since 2008.