Long-Lost Painting Of Devil’s Game To Go Under Hammer

A 19th-century royal painting missing for more than 100 years is to go under the hammer for EUR 160,000 after it was rediscovered in a private collection.

The artwork, ‘La Coda del Diavolo’ or ‘The Devil’s Tail’, was created by Italian painter Fausto Zonaro for the Ottoman Empire’s ruling family in Istanbul.

But when the imperial family led to Europe during the 1908 Young Turk revolution all traces of the painting were lost.

Now it is to go up for sale at the Dorotheum auction house in the Austrian capital Vienna on 24th October.

Photo shows ‘The Iperial Regiment of Ertugrul on the Galata Bridge’ by the Italian painter Fausto Zonaro (18 September 1854 19 July 1929). It was painted in 1901. (Newsflash)

The painting shows young girls in Veneto, Italy, playing a chase game called Devil’s Tale where one player pretends to be Satan catching the last human soul in a chain.

Dorotheum explains that the only record of the work’s existence previously was a single photograph.

A companion painting, ‘Dopo il Gioco’ or ‘After the Game’, was sold at the same auction house in April 2010.

Devil’s Tail is believed to have been owned by Sultan Abdul Hamid II’s eldest son Sehzade Mehmed Burhaneddin.

He became a fan of Zonaro when he became court painter in Istanbul in 1892 but had to flee the city during a revolution to oust them.
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A Dorotheum expert said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “It is very likely that Prince Burhaneddin took the painting with him to Europe, after which all traces of it were lost.

Photo shows the Italian painter Fausto Zonaro (18 September 1854 19 July 1929). His painting ‘La Coda del Diavolo’ (The Devil’s Tail) will be put up for auction at Dorotheum in Vienna on October 24, 2023. (Dorotheum/Newsflash)
Photo shows ‘Mehmed II Entering Constantinople’, It’s one of the paintings made by the Italian painter Fausto Zonaro (18 September 1854 19 July 1929). (Newsflash)

“This makes the present rediscovery of this work from the artist’s early creative phase all the more remarkable (estimate EUR 100,000 – 160,000 [GBP 86,454 – 138,326]).

The auction house lists another important painting in the same sale as ‘The Carpet Dealer” by Austrian painter Alphons Leopold Mielich.

Estimates claim it will reach up to EUR 90,000 (GBP 77,820).

A piece by one of the most important representatives of Austria’s impressionism, Tina Blau, which was acquired by Emperor Franz Joseph I in 1901, is expected to fetch up to EUR 120,000 (GBP 103,723).

And a huge almost six-metre-wide (19.6 feet) four-part panoramic canvas of the Julian Alps by landscape painter Markus Pernhart will be auctioned for up to EUR 220,000 (GBP 190,138).

Photo shows ‘Spring, from the Vienna Prater’ by Tina Blau, estimated 80,000 – 120.000. The painting will be put up for auction at Dorotheum in Vienna on October 24, 2023. (Dorotheum/Newsflash)

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Story By: Georgina JadikovskaSub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency:  Newsflash

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