Despite Falling Totals, Sotheby’s Does Well with Old Names and New
Sotheby’s large Mid-Season Contemporary sale relied on big names like Lichtenstein, Cornell, Motherwell, Albers and Indiana to shore up the top ten. But there were also good prices for Baechler, D’Arcangelo, Davis, Anuszkiewicz and Fangor.
Let’s look at the overall numbers. The sale brought in just over $10 million. That’s down from last year’s $13 million. There were 12% fewer lots offered in yesterday’s sale but the total was down approximately 23%. We’ll have a combined analysis of both houses’ sales tomorrow. But the mid-season sales have shown an unsurprising slowing in the middle of the Contemporary market. One of the main points of departure between Sotheby’s and Christie’s in these sales is the sell-through rate. Christie’s maintained a stable sell-through from 2007 to 2008 while witnessing a greater fall in the sale total. Sotheby’s, on the other hand, had a much lower sell-through in this year’s sale than last dropping to 69% from 81%.