This recap of Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Evening sale is available to AMMpro subscribers. Subscriptions begin with the first month free. Subscribers are welcome to sign-up and cancel before the first billing cycle.
Sotheby's $296.6m sale of Impressionist and Modern art last night demonstrated the strength and weakness of the new model marquee sale. All three auction houses have adopted a hybrid model of selling that involves securing work with a mix of direct and third-party guarantees. In effect, a large portion of any visibility auction is now pre-sold in the weeks and months leading up to the sale. The auction itself gives a broader range of buyers the opportunity to weigh in.
Last night, we saw that most of the early deals were decent deals and the transactions went off as expected. This makes for strong sales totals, Sotheby's $296.6m is up 71% year over year as the auction house is only too happy to tell you, which convey the idea of a healthy market. It also happens to make for a fairly uneventful sale night. Without the prospect of drama, fewer onlookers and see-and-be-seeners show up.
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