Jan Six seeks a new Rembrandt, or two; After the Boomers, who will buy million-dollar cars? Did we mention Magritte is the new Warhol?
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.)
Sotheby’s London Cont Evening Sale = £93.3m ($123m)
The low estimate was £76.9m and Sotheby’s was able to clear a hammer total of £77.925m just above that number. The problem wasn’t sell-through with only six of the 66 lots getting bought in. Instead, the room was anything but lively with most lots struggling against their estimates and many selling on a single bid.
A small Lucio Fontana work made of lacerated brass that was bought in late 2012 for $1.4m sparked a bidding war that ran the final tally to £2.65m or $3.44m.
Demand for Adrian Ghenie’s work continues with Duchamp’s Funeral I painted a decade ago sold for nearly £4.3m with fees or a tick over the high estimate of £3.5m.
Throughout the night, Jean-Michel Basquiat did a particularly well suggesting there is more demand for the artist’s work at lower price points than above the $10m mark. One of the five works on offer was bought in but the other four works all performed well with works on paper from the J.C. Tan collection were the subject of aggressive bidding by the Nahmad family as Joe Nahmad lost the first Tan work which also had a lower estimate to a rival who bid £925k hammer and won the second for £825k hammer. The guarantee Apex got pushed well beyond the £5m whisper estimate eventually selling to a French-speaking specialist on a telephone who paid £8.22m with fees.
Also from the Tan collection was Chris Ofili’s Afro Love and Envy which sold to an American institution for £915,000 / $1.2 million over a £700k high estimate.
Sign up to Art Market Monitor Premium today
You need a membership to AMMpro to view this article and other exclusive content daily.
You can register today for $90 per month—with your first month free!—or for $756 per year (no free trial period.)
If you already have an account, sign in here: