The Master, Judd Tully, lays out the landscape on Sotheby’s disappointing Pink Panther sale. Even below the low estimate, the price still pushes the artist’s market along:
a Sotheby’s specialist defensively pointed out after the sale, the last “Pink Panther” to come to the market sold at Christie’s in 1999 to Peter Brant for a then-record $1.8 million against a presale estimate of $600-800,000. Last night’s “Panther” also crushed the previous high for a Koons’s porcelain, set at Sotheby’s New York in May 2008 when “Naked,” another “Banality” piece from 1988, sold for $9 million (est. $1.5-2 million). The new mark ranks as the third-most-expensive Koons at auction, trailing the giant, heavy metal “Balloon Flower – Magenta” from 1995-2000, which sold at Christie’s London in June 2008 for $26 million, and “Hanging Heart” (1994-2006), which sold at Sotheby’s New York in November 2007 for $23.6 million.