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On Thursday, Christie’s held its Classic week old masters auction at the house's Rockefeller center location. Hammering at $19.6 million, the sale generated $24.2 million with buyer’s premium across 49 lots, landing at the low end of the pre-sale low expectation of $19.3 million to $29 million. Overall, it realized a sell-through rate of 71.2 percent.
22 percent of lots achieved a price above the high estimate 15 percent sold within their estimate ranges and 26 percent failed to reach their low estimates. 21 lots failed to sell.
Live-streamed from the auction house's New York sale room and led by chairman and global head of private sales Adrien Meyer, the auction proved lucrative to one major consigner: the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York. Christie’s sold 9 of the 12 guaranteed works consigned from the museum's permanent collection across the house’s European art and Old Masters sales which together made $6.6 million with buyer's premium. That is more than double the total pre-sale estimate of $2.25 million given to the 10 works from the museum consignment.
The sales follow the museum's announcement in mid-September of long-term plans to deaccession works from its holdings to raise money for collection maintenance—stating a goal of $40 million for the fund. The Brooklyn museum is among the few taking advantage of the temporary relaxed guidelines issued by the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) as a coronavirus relief measure. More deaccessions are to come, according to the museum's leadership.
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