Bitter Macklowe divorce resolved with judge’s decision to sell art collection; More suprise Wojciech Fangor sales; Tiffany blows out design sales with record $3.4m lamp; WME’s 70% stake in Frieze gets wider notice
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Harry Macklowe Wins Round 1 of Divorce Battle
Page Six reported today that Harry and Linda Macklowe have heard from the NY Supreme court that they should sell their huge art collection and split the proceeds. Linda Macklowe had wanted to keep the art which she valued at $625m. Harry thinks it can make $788m. The court thinks they should sell and find out:
- Linda, a Guggenheim Museum trustee, will get to keep another $40 million worth of art so she can “continue to enjoy her involvement in the art community,” Drager wrote. The carve-out includes eight additional works by Jeff Koons and nine pieces by Pablo Picasso.
The decision is likely to be appealed by Linda Macklowe but this ruling brings the possibility of the Macklowe collection selling a bit closer. The sale would be a major market event.
Another Strong Wojciech Fangor Sale at Christie’s
Wojciech Fangor’s M67 made $237,500 in a Christie’s First Open sale online over a $150,000 high estimate. Alongside that sale a work with a $40-60k estimate made $187,500. These two sales are significant because of the recent prices seen for Fangor in Poland and in the November day sales. They are also an indicator of the rising values seen in online only sales.
Christie’s Design Sale = $8.4m
#AuctionUpdate the Tiffany Studio’s ‘Rare and Important ‘Pond Lily’ Table Lamp’ broke its own #WorldAuctionRecord, previously set in 1997, at our Design sale in #NewYork today, achieving $3,372,500 at auction https://t.co/806y9Jq1Ti pic.twitter.com/w0S1mDR9bK
— Christie’s (@ChristiesInc) December 13, 2018
Christie’s set a new record for a Tiffany lamp with the resale of the same lamp that set the previous record 21 years ago. This example of a Tiffany Studios ‘Pond Lily’ lamp, from 1903, was bought in 1991 and sold today for $3,372,500. The entire sale made $8.4m with 84% of the lots sold:
- “Additional great results were achieved for a ‘Canard aux Nénuphars’ three-part centerpiece, made in 1991 by François-Xavier Lalanne which realized $250,000 against a high-estimate of $150,000 and Frank Lloyd Wright’s rare and important urn, Circa 1902 which sold for $576,500. The single owner French art glass sale, Masterpieces in Glass: The Nakamoto Collection realized $2,728,000. The top lot of the auction was a ‘Lys’ vase, 1900-1903 by Émile Gallé which sold for $444,500, the second highest price achieved for Gallé.”
Sotheby’s Tiffany & Design = $20.5m
Tiffany was bid up all over town this week as Sotheby’s sold this example of a Trumpet Creeper lamp for $2.3m over a $1.2m high estimate. The whole of Sotheby’s Tiffany sale was $9m. Bertoia, Lalanne and the recently deceased Wendell Castle were top lots in Sotheby’s $11.5m design sale.
WME’s 70% Controlling Stake in Frieze Gets Wider Notice
It’s not entirely clear why The Art Newspaper believes it is news that WME owns a majority stake in Frieze. It’s true that the original news in April of 2016 didn’t disclose how much of the fair WME bought from the founders Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover. Here’s what TAN published today concerning WME’s efforts to unwind a $400m investment from the Saudis:
- “There has been much speculation as to whether the entertainment agency owns a majority stake in Frieze. According to Art Review’s Power 100 2017 list, Endeavor bought a 70% stake, although Frieze is said to remain wholly independent.”
For some time before WME announced their investment in Frieze, the fair was being shopped to buyers with the understanding that the founders wanted to step down from daily control. The founders had already installed Victoria Siddall as director of the fair setting the trajectory toward their eventual departure.
If Sharp and Slotover had plans for global domination, WME might have made a minority investment to give them cash to fund their plans but that wasn’t the vibe for either party.
So there would have been little reason for WME to take a minority stake. There’s always the possibility that WME bought a minority stake and then increased it in the year between the first announcement of the deal and Art Review’s mention of the 70% figure but that is unlikely.
The probable reason was that WME and Sharp & Slotover couldn’t agree on a price but still wanted to go through with a sale. The common middle ground move is to buy a controlling stake that allows the seller to benefit from future growth in value.