ArtInfo.com is putting out some gossip on November’s third-party guarantors that raises more questions than it answers. According to the site, the Lichtenstein “Ohhh … alright” that sold for $42.6m was guaranteed by Laurence Graff for $43m:
Similarly, Greenwich über-collector Peter Brant was the third party guarantor of Sotheby’s prime Lichtenstein, “Ice Cream Soda” (1962), which carried a pre-sale estimate of $12-18 million. Brant’s bet the piece would zoom didn’t pay off. It sold on a single bid for $14,082,500, including fees.
What could use more explanation is how Graff was underbid but didn’t take possession of the painting . . . or are we being told that he was the buyer? Christie’s doesn’t use the term “irrevocable bid” but that’s how the supposed Graff guarantee is characterized. Does an irrevocable bid offer the option of taking the underbidder’s price and paying only the difference like an option?
Similarly, the numbers adduced suggest that Brant does not now own “Ice Cream Soda” and it was indeed outbid by the buyer.
Scuttlebutt from the November Auctions & More (ArtInfo.com)