- a Chinese buyer bidding via telephone nabbed Giorgio Morandi‘s austere and fresh-to-market 1953 still life “Natura Morta” for $2.2 million (£1.4 million) against an estimate of £700,000-1 million.
- Christie’s Zürich-based Russian art specialist Sandra Nedvetskaia [nabbed] Pierre Bonnard‘s large-scale and color-fused “Terrasse a Vernon” (1923) for a record and top-lot $11,578,056 (£7,209,250) on a £3-4 million estimate. It had been in the same private collection since 1935.
- Nedvetskaia’s bidder (paddle #841) contributed mightily to the evening, also buying Kees van Dongen‘s cloyingly theatrical “L’Actrice Lili Damita” (circa 1926) for a whopping $4.9 million (£3.1 million) on a £1.5-2 million estimate. The mystery buyer also chased other major works, underbidding the large and über-decorative Natalia Goncharova “Les Arbres en Fleurs (Pommiers en Fleurs)” from 1912
Scott Reyburn got a quote that only reinforced the idea:
“It’s shopping,” Guy Jennings, partner in the London- based dealership Theobald Jennings, said in an interview. “These are colorful works that will look good in a house in the Cote d’Azur. This market is driven by Western-based Russians and new European money. The rise in commodity prices has made a difference to them.”