Record price for Redouté rose
13 December 2010
One of a set of iconic watercolour roses painted by Pierre-Joseph Redouté has sold at auction for more than £265,000 - a record for a painting by the artist.
The early 19th-century artist Pierre-Joseph Redouté made his name with his meticulously-detailed watercolours of the finest roses of his time, and sold them to King Charles X of France in 1828 when interest in roses was at its height.
The painting of the so-called Four Seasons Rose, Rosa bifera officinalis (pictured), was one of more than 50 original Redouté watercolours sold by Sothebys in London as part of a huge range of books, manuscripts and drawings built up over generations of the Fermor-Hesketh family.
The majority were collected by the late Frederick, 2nd Baron Hesketh, and included such rarities as a Shakespeare first folio and letters relating to the imprisonment of Mary, Queen of Scots. Also in the collection was a very rare copy of John James Audubon's Birds of America, which sold for a record £7,321,250, far exceeding its predicted sale price of £4-6 million and making it the most expensive printed book ever sold at auction.