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On Wednesday, following its $341 million modern and contemporary evening sale live streamed from Christie’s Rockefeller center headquarters, the house’s contemporary day sale generated $36.5 million with buyer’s fee across 190 lots. Hammering at $29.5 million, it met the pre-sale low estimate of $28 million; but the sale realized a below average sell-through rate of 75 percent.
25 percent of lots sold above the high estimate, 29 percent placed within their estimate ranges and 20 percent failed to reach their low expectation. The result was far lower than last year’s November 2019 contemporary art day sales due to a contraction in lots. That sale brought in a total of $117.1 million. But this is not a directly comparable sale to that event.
Among the top lots of the night was the late Matthew Wong’s large-scale Shangri-La (2017), which sold for a record-setting price of $4.4 million. It hammered at more than 7 times its estimate of $500,000. That beat the previous record of $1.8 million set at Sotheby’s in June for Realm of Appearances (2018) which exceed its estimate by 2.5 times. The estimates for Wong's works have moved up with recent sales including Far Away Eyes (2018), via Fair Warning, the auction app, for $575,000, and Mood Room (2018), which sold at Phillips for $848,000 in July.
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