The Master, Judd Tully, leads the auction reports from London with these astute observations on Miró, Signac and Moore:
- Joan Miró’s Painting-Poem: It drew at least four bidders, including New York dealer William Acquavella, powering the price to a record £16.8 million ($26.6 million) (est. £6-9 million). The best part is that it last sold at Christie’s New York back in November 1985 for $770,000, at the hammer.
- Paul Signac “La Corne d’Or, Constantinople” (1907), which zoomed to £8.8 million ($13.9 million) (est. £4-6 million). It had last sold at Christie’s New York in May 2008 for $6.6 million, arguably at a time near the peak of the soon-to-deflate market. Someone profited handsomely from that astute speculation.
- A number of dealers present expressed astonishment at the price paid for the Moore, given that another version had been on offer in London last summer at the Masterpiece art fair with an asking price of nine million dollars. “There’s so much money in London,” said New York private dealer Nancy Whyte. “I can’t fathom that price for the Henry Moore.”
Scott Reyburn talks to dealers as the auctions:
- “There’s a lot of belief in the value of tangible assets at the moment,” the New York-based dealer David Benrimon said in an interview. “We’re seeing a lot more people enter the art market who have no knowledge or expertise.”
- “If a Giacometti is worth $100 million, how can an important Moore be worth less than a tenth of that?” the New York dealer Christophe Van de Weghe said in an interview. “Maybe that was the logic behind such an amazing price.”
Kelly Crow spots a few buyers representatives:
- Henry Moore’s £19 million ($30.1 million) bronze sculpture of a lounging nude sold to Alex Lachmann, a Cologne-based dealer known for representing Russian collectors.
- Maria Los, a Christie’s specialist who often buys for collectors from Mexico and Spain, helped a telephone bidder win three other bronzes by Moore, including his £5 million ($8 million) “Working Model for Three Piece No. 3: Vertebrae.”
Elizabeth Taylor Pieces Outdo Estimates (Wall Street Journal)