The Master, Judd Tully, has the bid spotting from Sotheby’s “no surprises” sale:
- James Roundell bought Picasso’s wartime 1943 still life “Compotier et Verres” for $1.3 million (£802,850) on a £600-800,000 estimate.
- The Nahmad art trading clan, seated at the front of the salesroom, dropped out rather early, and finally Sotheby’s Mark Poltimore, a former president of Sotheby’s Russia and a well-known cultivator of Russian-based clientele, nabbed the picture at the hammer price of £22.5 million, before the buyer’s premium was added.
- Guy Jennings and Simon Theobald of Theobald Jennings Ltd. were also active, nailing Paul Klee‘s peppy late abstraction of 1931 “P Vierzehn (P Fourteen)” for $1.3 million (£25,250) on a £700,000-1 million estimate
- Acquavella Galleries, meanwhile, beat out the Nahmads for Picasso’s late and autobiographical “Le Peintre et Son Modele dans un Paysage” from 1963 for $3.2 million (£2 million) against a £600-800,000 estimate. The painting last sold at auction at Christie’s New York back in May 1981 for $115,000
Scott Reyburn gathers a few tight-lipped comments on the sale:
- “The auction did all right, not great,’’ the London-based dealer Alan Hobart of the Pyms Gallery said in an interview. “The auction houses are struggling to find the goods. Rich collectors are hanging on to their art. Once prices are driven up, the market becomes more discriminating.”
- Giacometti’s 1957 bronze portrait of his younger brother, “Grand buste de Diego avec bras,” estimated at 3.5 million pounds to 5 million pounds, failed to sell because of its pale color, according to dealers.