The report on Sotheby's October 28th Live-Stream Evening sale includes details on works that made a profit for their sellers and a number of surprising works that were sold at a loss . It 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.)
On top of numerous successful modern and contemporary art sales in Hong Kong, Paris and London since the end of July, Sotheby’s mounted its final putsch before the U.S. election yesterday with two sales from it New York headquarters, hoping to garner as much as $344.3 million without the additional buyer’s premium.
The resulting total $283.9 million including the premium, may have been disappointing, but as we shall see, many estimates were set as if normal conditions prevailed. (Prices include the buyer’s premium, estimates do not)
To achieve that much with a high sell-through rate of 97%, even below estimate, was, as Oliver Barker might have said, an ‘extraordinary’ achievement— his most used adjective of the night to describe the works of art he was selling. But then again, he was acting up for over 1 million viewers.
Launching with a contemporary art sale given an estimate of $128.2 million-$184.2 million for 41 lots, the sale made $142.8 million including buyer’s premium after five lots were withdrawn and two were unsold.
Among the withdrawn lots were a 1957 Clyfford Still with a $12 million-18 million estimate, and a 1987-8 Brice Marden with a $10 million-15 million estimate which were part of the much disputed sell off by the Baltimore Museum of Art and had carried third party guarantees which must have been rescinded.
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