Our full sentiment survey about the Impressionist and Modern sales in London is available to AMMpro subscribers.
It may be a function of how esoteric the category now seems but our poll of likely results for some of the top lots in the Impressionist and Modern sales this week and next attracted fewer respondents. Nonetheless, of 80 or so readers who clicked through to the poll, the one work on offer tonight that had strong support for bidding above the already pricey estimate (and, perhaps, irrevocable bid) was Joan Miró’s Femme et Oiseau (above) from the Constellations recently on view at Acquavella galleries in New York.
Our poll takers believed the work would be bid above the £24m estimate but below £30m by a margin of 56%. That’s a resounding vote of confidence. Although the buyers aren’t making their bids on the basis of polls, the striking response was that another 31% of respondents think the bidding will go above £30m, an astonishing sum for a small-scale work on paper. Only 13% think there’s a chance the work will sell below the £24m asking price.
As for the rest of the predictions, the Cézanne bathers in the small works on offer at Sotheby’s has 44% of the respondents believing it will make the £4m low estimate. More than half (52%,) think it could go higher but are evenly split between £5m and £6m as hammer prices. Another 20% think it will sell for more than £6m. and above.
The van Gogh drawing of a corner of the garden at Arles also had real enthusiasm from readers. The most popular hammer price was £1.6m with 44% of the respondents. Another 11% said it would make the £1.2m low estimate for a total of 55% seeing the hammer price at the low end of the range. 16% said it would make £2m and another 24% thought it could above £2m.
Theo van Rysselleberghe’s seascape is expected to see some bidding, according to our poll, with 47% of respondents pricing the hammer at £7-8m. Though a healthy 27% think the consignor will have to compromise and take a hammer price below £7m. Another 18% see a price above £8m and a minority of 9% think the work could run beyond the £9m high estimate.
Moving to Christie’s sale next week, van Gogh’s take on Millet has strong expectations with 42% of our sample seeing the work sellingn above the £16.5m high estimate. Another 31% say it will make £12.5-14.5m, or the low end of the estimate range. 18% chose the middle ground of £14.5-16.5m; 9% thought the estimates were too high and the work would sell below £12.5m.
Christie’s Monet painting of a weeping willow tree wasn’t met with much enthusiasm. 47% expect a hammer between £15 and 20m. 24% said £20-25m; 11% were bullish and could see it above £25m but another 18% feared the work would be bought in.
The reverse was seen on Picasso’s Marie-Therese work which would appear to be very attractively estimated as 44% of respondents chose £30-40m and 36% chose above £40m as their target hammer price. That’s 80% of the poll going above £30m. The other 20% chose the lower end of the estimate range. No one thought the work would fail to find a buyer.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case with Christie’s Schiele which 36% of the poll thought would sell for a price below the £20m ask. Another 22% chose £20-25m; and 22% took £25-30m. The remaining 20% was split with 13% over the high estimate and 7% thinking the work would get bought in.