Luxist.com‘s Diedre Woollard looks into the dueling Picasso sales last week and comes up with this answer from Judd Tully.
Why did Christie’s Picasso painting sells while the Sotheby’s offering didn’t?Was the estimate too high? Christie’s had a little help with Mousquetaire à la pipe in the form of a third-party guarantee which basically means that an interested buyer already agreed to buy the painting at a certain price and was given a piece of the profits if outbid. Judd Tully of ArtInfo also tells Luxist that the later Picassos sold by Christie’s are “much more appealing to contemporary/Post-War collectors, widening the pool of people who might be interested.”
Setting aside the problems with comparing the prices on dissimilar works of art by the same artist, Tully’s quote is a reminder that many of the biggest Contemporary art collectors have been migrating into other time periods and regions over the past few years. Contemporary art has proved a capacious gateway into a kind of eclectic collecting that might see the art market through the next few rocky years.
Spring Art Auction Sales, When Picasso is Not Enough (Luxist.com)