Phillips de Pury’s successful Carte Blanche sale run by Philippe Segalot raised many questions whether the perennial distant 3rd auction house would rely on outside sources to generate sales volume.
Today the company announced it’s roster for the May Contemporary art sales. With an estimate range of $85 to $125 million for the evening sale and significant works by Warhol, Lichtenstein, Ellsworth Kelly, Basquiat, Richter, Hirst and Richard Prince, there are a 24 lots with estimate ranges that reach seven figures. That’s nearly half of the sale.
Such a dramatic change–as recently as September dealer Leon Benrimon was quoted in a Judd Tully piece lamenting that Phillips had lost its way–may be a gauge of the rapidly rising values in the art market. It might also be a symptom of over-exuberance at Phillips or it might be evidence of a sea change in the company’s business plan.