The Economist keeps score on the guaranteed works that finally came up for sale in London’s Impressionist and Modern sales last week:
Both auction houses are still suffering fall-out from guarantees they offered before the financial crash. A late Fernand Léger, “La Partie de Campagne”, which had been estimated at £4m-£6m and on which Sotheby’s promised a guarantee, failed to sell, leaving the auction house with a heavy loss. Christie’s offered two pictures they had owned for a while after they did not sell at their guaranteed levels in earlier auctions. Alfred Sisley’s “La Route de Marly-le-Roi”, which had been offered in June 2007 with a guarantee close to its low estimate of £1.6m, fetched only £700,000 this week, and Pierre Bonnard’s colourful “Bord de Mer, Sous les Pins”, which had been offered in February 2005 with a guarantee and an estimate set at £2m-£3m, sold to an Italian buyer for £1.1m.
Phew! (The Economist)