Sotheby's Imp-Mod sale reveals wild price swings up and down; Simon de Pury wins his $10m Gauguin commission.
This commentary by Marion Maneker is available to AMMpro subscribers. (The first month of AMMpro is free and subscribers are welcome to sign up for the first month and cancel before they are billed.)
Let’s not bury the lede on last night’s sale at Sotheby’s where $349.8m in Impressionist and Modern art was sold. The top lot of the night made a hammer price that was 75% of the whisper number on the extraordinarily valuable and mysteriously guarantee-covered painting. If that sale wasn’t intriguing enough, the buyer of the Monet also seems to have taken home a Caillebotte for almost $14m and another small Monet for nearly $5m. Many observers have commented on that.
“The winning bid on Tuesday came from the back of the room from a blonde woman wielding paddle 989. She sat next to a man with a phone by his ear, who appeared to be taking directions from a client.”
What has escaped notice is that earlier this year a woman matching that description bought three paintings in an Impressionist and Modern Evening sale in London too. Those works were a Renoir, a Signac for a record price and another Caillebotte painting. In total, this couple—if it is indeed the same couple—has spent more than $190m in fewer than six months.
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