Christie’s London PWC Evening = £79.2mWith David Hockney’s double portrait of Henry Geldzahler and Christopher Scott selling for just under $50m, Christie’s was able to realize almost $375m for the entire Ebsworth collection. That sale is significant because it moves the collection from a most likely loss against the massive guarantee Christie’s is said to have offered to a probable gain for the auction house. Such a high-risk endeavor is rarely taken. But the Ebsworth gamble came just after Christie’s much larger bet on the Rockefeller estate also paid off by showing a profit for the house. The question is whether the performance against such priced-to-perfection guarantees will whet either auction house for more risk in the seasons to come as the business shifts into a phase driven by estates and collections than by deal-making.
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