Out of the blue! Unknown Rembrandt portraits in a private collection could go under the hammer for nearly $15 million.

Image - Christies


What’s better than one Rembrandt? Two Rembrandts! Christie’s pulled a coup of sorts with a nearly $15 million pair of Rembrandt portraits on July 6 during “Classic Week” in London. Rarer than rare, the art was touted as the last of the master artist’s portrait works in private hands. The paintings from a different century were signed and dated 1635. They are under eight inches tall and represent wealthy plumber Jan Willemsz van der Pluym and his wife, Jaapen Carels, from a prominent family in Leiden and related to Rembrandt by marriage.


The two works were expected to fetch between $6.25 million and $10 million each. In the past many decades, the portraits then traveled to Warsaw, to the private collection of Count Vincent Potocki, and were briefly owned by Baron d’Ivry in Paris from 1820. James Murray, 1st Baron Glenlyon, was the last expert-known collector to hold the works. He placed both exampled for auction in June 1824 via Christie’s.

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The pair was finally purchased by an ancestor of the current portrait owners nearly two centuries ago and have remained in the family’s possession ever since. Henry Pettifer, international deputy chair of Old Master paintings at Christie’s, told CNN in a telephone interview that the discovery was made a couple of years ago as part of a “routine valuation to look at the contents of a house.” “The pictures were immediately of terrific interest,” he said, adding that the then-owners were also taken by surprise. I don’t think they had looked into it,” he said. “They didn’t have expectations for the paintings.” Pettifer told CNN he had been “incredibly excited” to see the paintings, but “at that stage I didn’t jump to any conclusions.”

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With over 15 years of experience in luxury journalism, Neha Tandon Sharma is a notable senior writer at Luxurylaunches. Her expertise spans luxury yachts, high-end fashion, and celebrity culture. Beyond writing, her passion for fantasy series is evident. Beginning with articles on women-centric gadgets, she's now a leading voice in luxury, with a fondness for opulent superyachts. To date, her portfolio boasts more than 2 million words, often penned alongside a cappuccino.