Colin Gleadell is on fire this week, including spotting this blow out sale in the Ben Nicholson market:
For many years, the market for the leading British modernist painter Ben Nicholson seemed to stand still. His auction record of £1.2 million in 1990 seemed set in stone when the so-called “Tate archives” fake scandal a decade ago rocked any remaining confidence in his market. Ever since, Nicholson has quietly been seen as underpriced, and a bargain buy compared with some of his contemporaries.
But things may be changing. Last year, two paintings – an abstract inspired by Mondrian and a Fifties carved relief landscape – rose over estimates to challenge that old record price.
Then, last week in Paris, an early Thirties painting of a fiddle and a Spanish guitar, influenced slightly by the paintings of Georges Braque, soared to a new £2.6 million record, 10 times the estimate. It was part of the sale of the estate of the Parisian fashion icon Hélène Rochas, and unexpectedly surpassed works by Andy Warhol, Kandinsky and Balthus in the same collection.
Art Market: Frieze Week and Louvre Abu Dhabi (Telegraph)