One of eight sketches by Leonardo da Vinci still privately owned, this 8-inch square sketch of a bear will go up for auction next month. It's expected to sell for between $11 and $16 million. That's twice the price that the most expensive Leonardo sketch sold for twenty years ago—"Horse and Rider" for $11.2 million. Leonardo created "Head of a Bear" using silverpoint, a technique in which the artist draws with a silver wire stylus on chemically-treated paper. From CNN:
The sketch has changed hands several times over the centuries — in fact, it was once sold by Christie's for just £2.50 (about £312, or $439, in today's money) in 1860. Titled "Head of a Bear," it has since been displayed at major institutions including the National Gallery in London, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Saint Petersburg's State Hermitage Museum.
In a press release, the chairman of Old Master paintings at Christie's New York, Ben Hall, called the sketch "one of the most important works from the Renaissance still in private hands," adding that it had "been owned by some of the most distinguished collectors in the field of Old Masters across many centuries." Notable previous owners include painter Sir Thomas Lawrence and art collector Captain Norman Robert Colville.