Colin Gleadell wasn’t distracted by the hoopla surrounding the Munch sale two weeks ago. He stuck to his knitting and ran the numbers revealing that Sotheby’s may have had the bigger sale but Christie’s achieved a higher average lot price in its Evening sale of Impressionist and Modern art:
This is a market where collectors can expect to make reasonable returns over a period of time. A colourful, if rather jumbled, still life of peonies by Matisse – for which the owner had paid $4 million at the height of the 1989/90 boom – sold for $19 million, but a better return was had for a small, succulent painting by Picasso of the head of his young lover, Marie-Thérèse Walter. Bought 10 years ago for $3 million, it now sold for $9.9 million. It was one of more than 30 Picassos at the sales, which brought an accumulative $88 million, maintaining the Spaniard’s pole position in this market.