Not all of the art shopping in Switzerland last week was done at the fair in Basel. Swiss auctioneer, Kornfeld, held its regular sales timed to coincide with Art Basel. This year, they outdid themselves with a record price for a Kornfeld auction. The sale total, which Kornfeld reports only with hammer prices, was 33m Swiss francs or nearly $34m. The total was slightly more than the auction estimates. Here is Kornfeld’s own report of the results:
The charcoal drawing by Paul Gauguin, “Tête d’une jeune femme Tahitienne avec un deuxième portrait sur sa droite – Portrait de Teha’amana” of 1891–92, was the auction series’ leading lot. It sold for CHF 7.2 million to an international private collector .
“Tabea III,“ a 1982 gouache by the Bernese Franz Gertsch, sold for CHF 450,000, an international auction record for a work on paper by the artist.
Altogether, five lots sold in excess of one million francs. Bidding in the room, a Swiss private collector granted CHF 1.4 million for Emil Nolde’s sumptuously colorful painting “Begonien (Rot und Gelb);” Paul Klee’s masterwork “Kleiner Blauteufel – Blauteufelskopf” of 1933 went for CHF 1.35 million to another Swiss private collector.
The complete “Suite Vollard” by Pablo Picasso found a new home for CHF 1.275 million – and Albert Anker’s “Suppe essendes Mädchen – Mädeli” of 1898, after a long bidding war against the international trade, sold for CHF 1.05 million to a private collector on the phone.
With hammer prices of CHF 950,000 for Pablo Picasso’s 1953 oil painting “Maisons devant la colline” and CHF 800,000 for Pierre Bonnard’s magnificent painting “Corbeille de fruits” of 1924 brought additional strong results for works from the first half of the twentieth century.
In post-war and contemporary art, outstanding results include the 1958 oil painting “Study for Moby Dick” by Sam Francis, with a hammer price of CHF 730,000, and Donald Judd’s “Untitled” of 1988, which sold for CHF 620,000.