- “It was a great sale. There’s life out there”, says New York dealer Robert Simon
- As Munich dealer Martin Graessle sums it up: “It is easier today to sell a work for $1m than one for $10,000.”
- Some prices, particularly for drawings, reached impressive levels.
- “We had really deep interest from all over the world. That was not always the case in recent years”, says Christopher Apostle, the head of Sotheby’s Old Master paintings department. “Also, we had new bidders and younger bidders”.
The reactions to last week’s sale of Old Masters works primarily at Sotheby’s recorded by Barbara Kutscher in The Art Newspaper were hopeful. Buyers seemed to pursue works in unexpected places, especially in the drawings market where Christie’s also held a sale. As Kutscher points out, the collection of Howard and Saretta Barnet reached $16.8m, in part because of the strong participation of collectors:
The top lot—an extremely rare, heavily inked drawing of a landscape around Shoreham, Kent, by Samuel Palmer (around 1831)—was claimed by a New York collector, briefly challenged by the London dealer Stephen Ongpin, for a high $2m, or $2.4m with fees. The same buyer also won fiercely contested graphite and pencil drawings by Ingrès and Picasso. An exquisite brush drawing by Goya, showing an old woman hunched over a basket full of eggs, will make its way into a European private collection for $2.1m.
That strong performance contributed to the overall total of $82.5m which was twice the total of the previous year which came in at $41.9m. Here are some of the strong performances from Sotheby’s various sales:Continue Reading