LONDON - Sotheby’s series Impressionist and Modern Art sales concluded yesterday, having realised £129,530,507 ($255,072,281) – almost exactly the combined high estimate for the series (£93.5 – 132.8 million) and the highest total for any June series of sales of Impressionist and Modern Art held by the company.
Melanie Clore, Co-Chairman of Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art department worldwide, said: “The tremendous success of this week’s sales was underpinned by strong, informed bidding from an international pool of buyers. Iconic works of exceptional quality which were fresh to the market triumphed, with an unprecedentedly high proportion of the lots offered finding buyers. In the evening sale on Wednesday, 56% of the lots sold realised prices in excess of their pre-sale estimates. All of which testifies to the extraordinary dynamism and strength of the current market.”
New benchmarks were set:
• Gino Severini’s Danseuse, of 1915, made £15,049,250 (US$29,615,419) – seven times the previous record for a work by the artist ($3.6/£2.17 million at Sotheby’s New York in 1990), and establishing a new record for any Futurist work ever sold at auction. Having once hung in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, this museum-quality work attracted bids from no fewer than five prospective buyers.
Helena Newman, Vice Chairman of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Department worldwide, explained: “The exceptional price for Severini’s Danseuse follows in the wake of other similar successes at Sotheby’s (for artists such as Franz Marc, Alexej von Jawlensky, Lionel Feininger and Chaïm Soutine), whereby new benchmark levels have been set for top Modernist works, catapulting them from the national context in which they were previously seen into the broader international arena.”
• Alberto Giacometti’s multiple-figure bronze Trois hommes qui marchent I (1948) sold for £9,449,250 (US$18,595,179) – double the pre-sale estimate of £4,000,000-6,000,000 and a record for any 20th -century sculpture sold at auction in Europe.
• In the evening sale on Wednesday, more lots found buyers than ever before in a various owner sale of Impressionist and Modern Art in London: over 90% of lots found buyers (ie. 50 out of 55).
• The Impressionist & Modern Works on Paper Sale made £8.9 million - the highest total for any such sale ever held by the company in Europe.
Works from the Collection of Haaken A. Christensen - sold to benefit Médecins sans Frontières – soared:
The Impressionist and Modern Art sales included 17 works from the collection of Haaken A. Christensen (1924-2008), one of Norway’s most influential art connoisseurs and dealers. Proceeds from the sale of these, and other works from Christensen’s collection, will benefit Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) – one of the world’s leading international humanitarian aid organisations, providing emergency medical assistance to populations in danger in more than 60 countries. Works from the Christensen collection were hotly contested, realising a combined total of £14,772,350 against an estimate of £6,683,000 –10,070,000. The majority of the works in the collection soared over estimate:
• Tête de femme (Dora Maar) made £7,881,250 (US$ US$15,509,512) against an estimate of £3,000,000-5,000,000
• Picasso’s L’Homme au maillot rayé of 1956. Sold for £ 1,833,250 / US$ 3,607,653 (est: £900,000-1,200,000)
• Femme au chapeau assise. Buste of 1962 made £1,777,250 (US$3,497,450) against an estimate of £700,000-900,000
• Picasso’s Nature morte au poron of 1948, which made £1,049,250 (US$2,064,819) against an estimate of £600,000-800,000
• Works on paper: Eight works on paper from the Christensen collection realised a combined total of £1,195,600 against a pre-sale estimate for the group of £750,000 - £1,100,000. Two of the standout pieces were La Parade (lot 135), which sold for £ 289,000 (est: £100,000-150,000), and Le Peintre et son Modèle (lot 136), which realised £211,250 (est: 120,000-180,000).
Further works from the Christensen collection will be offered in Sotheby’s Contemporary Day Sale (July 2nd) and Sotheby’s Prints sale (October 08)
Other works that performed particularly well:
• Claude Monet’s La Plage à Trouville of 1870 - a lively, iconic beach scene from a key moment in Monet’s early career - made £7,657,250 (US$15,068,702).
• Picasso’s Mousquetaire. Buste of 1968, made £5,529,250 (US$10,881,011).
• Cézanne’s Verre et Poires, (1879-80) sold for £4,073,250 / US$8,015,749 (est: £2,500,000-3,500,000).
• Two works by Paul Gauguin attracted strong competition: Deux vases de fleurs et un eventail of 1885 made £2,841,250 (est: £1,500,000-2,000,000); while Tête de Tahitienne of 1891 made £2,841,000 against an estimate of £1,000,000 1,500,000.
• Chaïm Soutine’s La Jeune Polonaise soared above estimate, realising £2,169,250 / US$ $4,268,867 (est: £650,000-850,000) - nine times more than the sum made by the same work in 2003 ($455,500).
• Albert Marquet's La Plage de Sainte-Adresse sold for a record £1,217,250 – more than three times its top estimate of £600,000.
Artist’s records established this week at Sotheby’s:
1. Gino Severini
Sold for: £15,049,250 (Est: £7,000,000 – 10,000,000)
ALSO A RECORD FOR ANY FUTURIST WORK OF ART SOLD AT AUCTION
(Previous record: Giacomo Balla, La Scala degli Addii (Salutando), SNY 1990 - £2.61 million)
2. Albert Marquet
La Plage de Sainte-Adresse
Sold for: £ 1,217,250 (Est:£400,0000- 600,000)
3. Gustav Klimt
Liefender Madchenakt Nach Links
Sold for: £505,250 (Est: £100,000- 150,000) – RECORD FOR A WORK ON PAPER BY THE ARTIST
4. Louis Anquetin
La Femme À L'ombrelle
Sold for: £421,250 (Est: £350,000-450,000)
5. Amédée Ozenfant
Le Pichet Blanc
Sold for: £397,250 (Est: £200,000-300,000)
Statistics for the Impressionist & Modern Art Evening sale:
• Average lot value: £2.04 million
• 5 lots (10%) sold for over £5 million
10 lots (20%) sold for over $5 million
25 lots (50%) sold for over £1 million
45 lots (90%) sold for over $1 million
• 56% of lots sold achieved prices in excess of high estimate - the highest such percentage for a June Impressionist and Modern Art sale
• High sale rates both by lot and by value:
over 90% sold by lot (of the 55 lots offered, only 5 failed to sell); 94% sold by value
• Around 600 people attended the sale
• High crossover with Contemporary buyers: 68% of the lots sold in the Impressionist & Modern Evening sale were bought by buyers also active in Sotheby’s Contemporary Sales
• High crossover with buyers in Sotheby’s Russian sales: 28% of the lots sold in the Evening sale were bought by buyers also active in Sotheby’s Russian sales.