Charismatic Oliver Hoare's eclectic collection makes £1.5m at Christie's

28 October 2019
Henrietta Sharp Cockrell


Timurid manuscript, estimated at £1m-£1.5m, from the late dealer’s collection, failed to sell but many other pieces go over estimate

Though occasionally controversial—and sometimes sailing close to the wind—the late dealer Oliver Hoare was remembered overwhelmingly for his extraordinary warmth and charisma at Christie’s sale of his collection on 25 October. With only 12 lots unsold out of the 123 items offered, the sale made over £1.5m (with fees).

The variety of Hoare’s collection matched his enthusiasm for all aspects of life and art. Items in the sale ranged from a 19th century Indian painting from the Fraser Album (£87,500, all prices with fees), through a rare colourway Man Ray lithograph (£93,750) and a turbine disc from a Concorde engine (£13,750), to a curious 17th century English skull pomander (£65,000) and 1,020 auction catalogues dating back to the 1960s (£9000). All sold well over estimate. Meanwhile, three lots of Hoare’s own linocuts, the highest selling for £1,125 (with fees), showed his artistic eye was not just reserved for dealing.

The top lot was a 16th century Lady and Unicorn mille-fleurs tapestry, rarely found outside museums, which sold amid bidding on eight phones to a European collector for £539,250 (with fees), double what Hoare paid for it in 2017.

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