Sotheby’s stock price continues to climb as the stock market rebounds. Already twice the price of the March lows, the stock could easily reach three times its price at the nadir. Conventional wisdom is that share prices anticipate earnings. If so, the financial markets are expecting Sotheby’s to make some strong sales soon.
In the auction world, one cannot make sales without consignments. And the old saw about consignments–great work with good provenance that’s fresh to the market–may be even more important during this market trough. So when Sotheby’s announced recently that they had secured seven Impressionist paintings from the family of Paul Durand-Ruel, the influential dealer, that had not been seen since the middle of the 20th Century and were now estimated at approximately $9-$12m for the group, it might have tantalized some of the stock traders.
There are three Renoirs in the group. The most valuable is Femme au chapeau blanc which carries a $2.5-3.5m estimate. But there is also a Baigneuse (estimated at between $700,000 and $1m) and a Nature Morte aux Pommes et Poires (est. at between $350-450,000.)
Pissarro has two pictures in the group. The first is a cityscape, Le Pont Boieldieu et la Gare d’Orléans, Rouen, Soleil (estimated at between $2-3m) and the second is Le Jardin du Louvre, Effet de Neige (estimated at between $1.25-1.85m.) Finally, there are two Sisleys as well: La Seine à Argenteuil ($1.5-2m) and Vue de Sèvres ($600-800,000.)