The big story in London’s print and multiple sales is the continuing strength in the Picasso ceramics market. Several sales over the last two years have generated price action which stimulates interest and buying. The Picasso ceramics were 100% sold and the entire multiple sale was more than 98% sold. Of the ceramics, 94% achieved prices above the high estimate. The total was $2.19m.
They were just part of a wider private collection of ceramics and prints auctioned this afternoon, which together achieved £2,075,125 ($3,132,194), double the pre-sale estimate (£972,100-£1,389,600 / $1.47-2.1 million). The star lot of the sale was Picasso’s Vase gros oiseau vert which sold for £104,500 ($157,732), nearly three times above its high estimate. The sale was 98.7% sold by lot and 90.3% sold by value.
Old Master, Modern & Contemporary Prints brought a total of £4,613,000 ($6,962,862), far exceeding the pre-sale low estimate (£3.2-4.65 million / $4.87-7 million). The top lot was Edvard Munch’s Two Human Beings. The Lonely Ones, a rare woodcut from 1899, which sold for £986,500 ($1,489,023), a record for the subject by the artist, and almost four times above the low estimate (£250/300,000). The second highest price achieved was for a complete set of 10 screenprints by Andy Warhol of the Endangered Species series: the sum of £386,500 ($583,383) established a record for a complete set of this subject by the artist at auction. Rembrandt led the Old Masters section with Christ Presented to the People and The Three Crosses, each selling for £218,500 ($329,804). 55.2% of works sold achieving prices above the high estimate. The sale was 75.3% sold by lot and 88.6% sold by value.