Friday, February 08, 2008

Sotheby's Series of Impressionist & Modern Sales Realise Unprecedented $285 Million

Sotheby's Series of Impressionist & Modern Sales Realise Unprecedented $285 Million

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© Sotheby's Images.

LONDON.-Sotheby’s series of Impressionist & Modern Art sales this week realized a total of £144,455,275 ($285,001,113/€192,763,750) – the highest total for any series of Impressionist & Modern Art sales ever staged in Europe.

Robin Woodhead, Chief Executive, Sotheby’s International said: “The success of Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern sales this week – the highest in the company’s history in Europe –demonstrated that the market wants quality above all else. Desirable material across a range of categories attracted established collectors as well as a healthy percentage of new buyers. Global competition from Russia, Asia, Europe and America continued to be a factor.”

New benchmarks were set: The evening sale realized £116,699,900 ($230,517,312/€155,560,491) – making it the highest totalling sale of Impressionist & Modern Art held by the company in Europe. For the first time ever in Europe, five lots were sold at over £5 million in a single sale. Almost 60% of the lots sold in the Impressionist & Modern Evening sale sold for prices in excess of their high estimates – the highest percentage ever at that level in such a sale. German & Austrian Art realized £39,646,100 – the highest sum ever realized for any offering of such works in Europe. The Impressionist Day and Works on Paper Sales made a combined total of £27.7 ($54.5/€37.2) million – the highest combined total for any such sales ever held in Europe In addition: Sotheby’s achieved the highest price for any Impressionist & Modern work sold this season with Franc Marc’s Weidende Pferde III which sold for £12,340,500 ($24,376,190). Further top prices included: £9,428,500 ($18,624,116/€12,568,152) for Schokko mit Tellerhut by Alexej von Jawlensky – a record price for the artist, and double what the same work had made when it appeared on the market in 2003 ($8,296,000) £7,412,500 ($14,641,911/€9,880,832) for Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s La Loge – an exquisite version of one of the Courtauld Gallery’s best-loved Impressionist paintings. The painting made three times its pre-sale estimate of £2,500,000–3,500,000. It will now be loaned the Courtauld Gallery for an exhibition on Renoir’s La Loge, to run from February 21 – May 25, 2008 £7,412,500 ($14,641,911/€9,880,832) for Pablo Picasso’s striking 1938 portrait of Dora Maar - Tête de Femme (La Lectrice - Dora Maar), from the collection of the noted connoisseur, collector and dealer Heinz Berggruen £5,620,500 ($11,102,174/€7,492,104) for Alberto Giacometti’s Buste - the second highest price for a painting by the artist at auction. And £3,716,500 ($7,341,202/€4,954,079) for Henry Moore’s Draped Reclining Mother and Baby, 1983 - the highest price ever achieved for any work by Moore sold in the UK.

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