The ever-perceptive Colin Gleadell looks at the February sales in London. A lot has changed since the last go round in June:
Not surprisingly, the number of lots offered has fallen from 950 last February to 514; and the total estimate for the sales has dropped from £224 million to £126 million. Hardly any guarantees have been made.
He also teases out this strand, recently bought works returning to the market within a year or two. At Sotheby’s, he points out, ” the sale also includes less unusual works by Gustav Klimt and Francis Picabia, sold in the last two years, which have returned to the market estimated to sell for less than before.”
At Christie’s, “there are also works which were sold last year and have returned to the market rather quickly, though no one is saying whether these are distress sales or not. Alexej von Jawlensky’s Girl with Red Bow, for instance, which graced Christie’s catalogue cover last year and sold for £2.9 million, is back with a £1.8 million estimate. In dollar or euro terms, that’s quite a reduction, as the pound has dropped so far since then”