Colin Gleadell has this anecdote to confirm that the recent round of British paintings sales—including the David Bowie auction whose top lot was said to go to a Middle East buyer—which impressed so many with their price action and competition may be driven by a sudden transformation of the category to one with an international collector base:Continue Reading
Scott Reyburn previews the J.M.W. Turner sale that will feature prominently in Sotheby’s July sale. The £18m estimate reflects the fact that the work has not been on the market for a century. But the timing of the sale, Sotheby’s admits, may come as much from a fear that strong prices for great works might not last:
“The family thought it was a good moment to sell,” Sotheby’s U.K. Deputy Chairman David Moore-Gwyn said in an interview. “Recently there has been a series of strong prices for magnificent works that are fresh to the market, and we don’t know what’s going to happen in a year’s time.”
Christie’s mid-season Impressionist & Modern sale. On offer were a whole group of less important works by artist like Lempicka, Matisse, Derain, Rodin, Renoir, Pissarro, Picasso, etc. and nicer works by many of the less important artists such as Dyf, Venard, Camoin, Brasilier, and Gall.
Taking the checkered flag was Charles Camoin’s La salle à manger à Saint-Tropez… which carried a $60-$80,000 est. and sold for $140,500; second place saw a tie at $80,500: J.P. Cassigneul’s Femme au chapeau (est. $40-$60K) and Lempicka’s Nature morte à la plante grasse (also $40-$60K); and rounding out the top five were other works by Cassigneul ($68,500) and Lempicka ($62,500).
What I found very interesting about this sale was that while many of the artists featured in this sale are not household names, there was a lot of interest shown – all but 6 works met or exceeded their estimates. The sale was compact – only 166 illustrated and by sale time 3 of the works had been withdrawn … so 163 were actually offered for sale. Of those, 148 sold and 15 were bought-in – creating a sell-through rate of almost 91% and a total take of $2.56M.
This sale was a great example of what can happen, even in the lower range, when a saleroom offers a select group of works with reasonable estimates. Once the New York sales were finished, the ‘minor’ action switched to London where Christie’s offered 2 sales of lower end material. Now there is really very little to write home about, but I will give you the highlights.Continue Reading