The pre-auction build-up for Sotheby’s sale of The Scream has started very early. More than two months away and Georgina Adam reports in the Financial Times that there’s a betting line going in London with prices well into nine figures. With Cézanne’s Card Players offering a reference point well above the $80 million level, the question is whether the big hitters will feel constrained by the public format of the auction:
How much will Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” (1895) fetch when it is auctioned by Sotheby’s in New York in May? A British bookie is offering odds of 3/1 that it will break the $125m barrier, way over its $80m-plus estimate – the first time, to my knowledge, that the price of an artwork has been subject to public betting. But then “The Scream” is one of the best-known art images in the world. This picture has rarely been seen in public, however, because of the four versions Munch painted it is the last in private hands. (The other three are in Norwegian museums.) “I think that bidding will be totally international, it’s a trophy that any collector would love to have,” says Munch specialist and dealer Jens Faurschou.
The Art Market: Freudian Grip (Financial Times)