This look at the last 12 years of Sotheby's June Impressionist and Modern Evening sale performance is available to AMMpro subscribers. Subscribers get the first month free on monthly subscriptions. Feel free to cancel at any time before the month is up. Sign up for AMMpro here.
As we showed you yesterday with charts from our friends at Pi-eX, the June Evening sales of Impressionist and Modern art in London have become highly dependent upon the success of a few highly valued works of art that are often offered without published estimates. Sotheby's results both confirm that trend and show how susceptible a sales cycle can be to a few unlucky lots.
In June of 2016, the choice to offer two superb lots without published guidance in the form of a Modigliani portrait of Jeanne Hébuterne and Picasso's portrait of Fernande Olivier was richly rewarded with a £81m or the vast majority of the evening's sales volume.
Success breeds emulation. The next year, Sotheby's was able to pull in £57m against two works with estimates upon request, a rare Miró Constellation and a Kandinsky near abstract from his pivotal year of 1913.
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