The Master, Judd Tully, did a lot of leg work at the Kostalitz sale in London last night where the buyers were “Sixty-two percent of the lots were bought by European bidders, 35 percent by U.S. clients and 3 percent from Asia”:
- The sluggish reception for Alberto Giacometti works earlier in the week vanished as “Figurine sur Grand Socle,” a miniature 1950 bronze of a standing female nude, sold to London dealer Alan Hobart for $2.2 million (£1.4 million) against a £400-600,000 estimate. Hobart also nabbed Giacometti’s riveting “Portrait d’Annette au Pull-Over Rouge” from 1961 for $7.8 million (£4.9 million) on an estimate of £2-3 million.
- Francis Bacon’s 1964 “Three Studies for Portrait of Lucian Freud,” which sold to Cologne dealer Alex Lachmann for the top-lot price of $37 million (£23 million) against an estimated £7-9 million. It was directly underbid by Swiss-based phone bidderDimitri Mavromatis, who was also one of the flock of underbidders for the record Dali.
Scott Reyburn adds these observations:
- A 1952 self-portrait on copper by Freud sold in the room to a U.S.-based collector, who declined to give his name, for 3.3 million pounds. It had a high estimate of 800,000 pounds. Measuring 5 inches high, it had been acquired at Sotheby’s, London, in March 1992 for 88,000 pounds.
- The same American buyer gave 3.4 million pounds for “Bathsheba,’’ the most expensive of a group of four Marc Chagall paintings commissioned by the collector during the 1960s to decorate his salon. They had each been expected to sell for between 2 million pounds and 3.5 million pounds.