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The three main Contemporary art auction houses just held their mid-season clearinghouse sales in London. The results were interesting for those who follow the middle market either as collectors or dealers. Overall, the top lots did not perform terribly well. Across all three auction houses the sales were three-quarters sold through, a solid number at this end of the market.
Works that were priced the highest—around £100k—did poorly. A number of the works estimated in £40-60k range failed to perform and some of the works in the £25-35k range simply failed to find buyers. Nonetheless, there were plenty of works sold somewhere between £40 and £77k. Those works made up the top lots outside of the top ten works and most of those were bid up from much lower estimate ranges.
Overall, the London mid-season sales had an aggregate premium value of £7.3m ($9.17m) with a quarter of lots selling above the high estimate and and overall hammer ratio of (hammer price/aggregate low estimate) 1.02.
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