Sotheby's hybrid Evening sale of small works and Impressionist and Modern masterworks was an uneven success with some real surprises as the two sales tallied £127.9m for the Impressionist and Modern sale + £20.9m for Actual Size, the small works sale or £148.9m ($187.7m) combined. On a hammer basis, Actual Size failed to reach the low estimate while the Impressionist and Modern sale just reached the low estimate. The sell-through rates were 65% and 74% respectively for Actual Size and the Imp-Mod sale.
These numbers may reflect the state of estimates—especially when they are undergirded by actual buyers who took positions pre-sale with irrevocable bides—which are quite high and require a fair bit of work for the specialists to rally bidding interest. With estimates peaking, there are two likely outcomes for the category (Impressionist and Modern works, not small ones.)
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