Colin Gleadell has done a little arithmetic on last week’s sales. He counts a total for the week of $1.6bn which was $500 million more than the year before but $1.14bn less than the high water mark set in 2015.
Gleadell breaks it downfurther into Impressionist and Modern art at $537.6m and Contemporary out-shining with $1.064bn.
As is his wont, Gleadell also has some big scores to report:Continue Reading
Christie’s had a solid sale tonight. Here’s the release from Christie’s:
The top lots of the sale were Constantin Brancusi’s (1876-1957) La muse endormie which sold for a world auction record price of $57,367,500 to client in the room after 9 minutes of bidding and Pablo Picasso’s (1881-1973), Femme assise, robe bleue which realized $45,047,500.
Exceptional collections realized strong results:
PROPERTY FROM CLEVELAND CLINIC GENEROUSLY DONATED BY MRS. SYDELL MILLER – $55.7 million and will continue in our Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale, led by Picasso’s Femme assise dans un fauteuil, $30,487,500
PROPERTY FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF HUNT HENDERSON, NEW ORLEANS – $30.5 million and will continue in our Impressionst and Modern Works on Paper Sale as well as our American Paintings Sale
Details on the last of the Imp-Mod lots are coming out as the catalogues emerge and get printed. Sotheby’s has a few lots like this Monet water lilies work that was stamped by his heirs with the painter’s signature.
The first owner held it for 64 years until it was sold at Christie’s in 1989 at the peak of the Japanese-fueled Impressionist art binge. It was then sold privately twice, in quick succession in 1999 and 2000.
David Norman looks at the results of the March 2017 auctions of Impressionist and Modern art at Sotheby’s and Christie’s. The surprisingly strong sales came in the context of a nervous art market wondering what the future might hold.
In part because of that uncertainty, few of the works on offer were considered the kinds of trophies that would motivate bidders to aggressively pursue these works. Nonetheless, they did. Buyers, especially from Asia, were out in force.
Although, as Norman points out, the bidding was tactical and sober. Buyers are keen on acquiring works of art but not at any price.
With that in mind, Norman follows up on the previous sales of many of the works and points out that very few of the works auctioned in this March cycle lacked market exposure. Some did well against previous prices; others fared poorly. But the market showed that it could distribute familiar material efficiently and with strong prices even if the sales lacked an estate or other fresh material that might excite “animal spirits.”
Colin Gleadell provides a little perspective on last week’s Impressionist and Modern sales in London where the market (at least denominated in sterling) rose back to its 2014 heights. Will this set off a new wave of expectation and competition?
Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Bonhams all reached the higher end of their pre-sale estimates to amass a total of £392 million. That’s an impressive 59 per cent increase over last February’s £246.3 million. Last week’s figure was not quite a record; in 2014 this series reached £414 million.