LONDON - Tonight in London , Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction realised the strong total of £25,549,540 ($41,911,318/ˆ29,823,964), near the top pre-sale expectations for the sale (Estimate: £19,755,000-27,435,000). More than 380 clients registered to bid and 37 of the 40 lots offered found buyers, with 92.5% sold by lot – establishing one of the highest sell-through rates ever achieved for an Evening Auction of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s London - and a sold-by-value rate of 97.2%.
The top selling lot of tonight’s sale was Andy Warhol’s Tunafish Disaster which brought £3,737,250 (est. £3.5-4.5) one of three Warhol works from an important European collection. The combined total was £6,373,350 for the three Warhols, within estimate pre-sale estimate of £6,100,000-8,300,000.
Alexander Calder’s A Cinq Morceaux de Bois, one of only two of its kind fetched £2,617,250 ($4,293,337/ˆ3,055,125) against a pre-sale estimate of £1.2-1.8 million, more than 21 times the $198,000 paid when it last appeared at auction (Sotheby’s New York in 1987).
Peter Doig’s Almost Grown - the auction catalogue's cover lot - realised a final price of £2,057,250 ($3,374,713/ˆ 2,401,435), over its pre-sale high estimate of £1.4-1.8 million.
New artist record established for Julie Mehretu Untitled (Dervish) (lot 8), which sold for £241,250 ($395,746/ˆ281,612)
An important oil on canvas by Jean Dubuffet, Arabe Au Fusil sold for £903,65 ($1,482,347/ˆ1,054,834), against an estimate of £500,000-700,000..
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Exu, one of the last recorded works by the artist, tonight realised £1,273,250 ($2,088,639 /ˆ1,486,269) against an estimate of £1.1-1.3million.
Six lots sold for over £1 million, ten lots for over $1 million, and of the lots sold, 51.4% achieved prices (including premium) in excess of their pre-sale high estimates.
Discussing the results of the auction, Cheyenne Westphal, Chairman of Contemporary Art Sotheby’s Europe, said: “Tonight’s sell-through rate of 92.5% represents one of the highest ever established for an Evening Sale in this field at Sotheby’s London and combined with the strong total achieved, we feel extremely happy with the results and very optimistic about the Contemporary Art market. Our strategy of focusing on fresh material seldom on the market by leading Post-War and Contemporary artists, sourced from private collections, has once again proved that within these parameters the market demonstrates considerable strength. The new level of pricing in this field has also really boosted confidence and encouraged bidding tonight, and in this adjusted reality our clients feel very confident transacting.”