LONDON - Tonight in a packed saleroom, Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Evening Sale brought a total of £78,893,650 / $125,504,018 /ˆ94,491,096 (est. £79– 113.3 million). The top price of the sale was achieved for Claude Monet’s previously unseen painting of 1885 L’Entreé de Giverny en Hiver, which sold in a four-way bidding battle to a buyer in the room for £8,217,250 / $13, 072,001 / ˆ9,841,818 (est. £4.5-6.5 million) – an auction record for a snowscape by the artist. The sale saw a high average lot value for the works sold of £1,922,870, and was 76.9% sold by lot and 76% sold by value.
Commenting on the sale, Helena Newman, Chairman, Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art, Europe, commented: “Tonight we saw global bidding across the sale, with avid collectors competing for museumquality and rare works. There was strong competition for exceptional paintings, notably for Claude Monet, Ernest Ludwig Kirchner and Georges Braque. As we have seen in our recent international auctions, we continued to see the enduring appeal of works that are fresh to the market and are of exceptional quality.”
Other notable prices this evening
As was announced during the auction, Gustav Klimt’s rare 1901 landscape Seeufer mit Birken – which had not been seen in public in over a century – sold post-sale for £5,641,250 $8,974,100 / ˆ6,756,525.
Ernest Ludwig Kirchner’s monumental Das Boskett: Albertplatz in Dresden of 1911 fetched £7,321,250/$11,646,644/ˆ8,768,677 (est. £5 – 7 million). The work is one of the artist’s last canvases to depict the topography of Dresden - a recurrent theme in his oeuvre and the city where he came of age as an artist and as a man.
Georges Braque’s L’Oliveraie of 1907 sold for £5,081,250/ $ 8,083,252 / ˆ6,085,824 (est. £2 – 3 million). The work provides a rare glimpse into the Fauve revolution at the beginning of the 20th century and Braque’s seminal contribution to the movement.
Selling for almost three times its high estimate, Otto Dix’s Die Elektrische (The Electric Tram) sold for £2,953,250/$4,698,030/ˆ3,537,114 (est. £700,000-1,000,000).
Fernand Léger’s La Jeune fille à l'échelle, one of the artist’s definitive compositions of the 1940s, sold for £3,961,250 / $6,301,556/ ˆ4,744,398 against a pre-sale estimate of £3.8 – 4.5 million.
Edouard Vuillard’s 1890 masterwork, Les Couturières fetched £3,401,250/ $5,410,708/ˆ4,073,685 (presale est. £3 - 5 million).
One of Henry Moore’s most important monumental sculptures Reclining Figure no. 2, Three-Piece Bridge-Prop sold for £3,289,250 / $5,232,539 / ˆ3,939,542. Estimated at £1.5 - 2.5 million, the work was conceived in 1963 and cast in an edition of six. It is one of his most technically sophisticated and complex iterations on his dominant theme – the reclining figure.
The auction saw strong prices achieved for Surrealist works in the sale
A group of 14 surrealist works were offered, achieving a combined total of £16,083,000, representing an average sold lot value of £1,340,250. Highlights among this group include:
Giorgio de Chirico's monumental and boldly coloured Ettore e Andromaca of 1925-30, regarded as one of his most successful metaphysical compositions, was sold for £2,841,250/ $4,519,860 / ˆ3,402,971, against an estimate of £2.8 – 4 million).
Yves Tanguy’s 1941 oil on canvas Deux fois du noir sold for £2,505,250/ $3,000,543/3,985,352 (est. £2 -3 million) exemplifies the refined and personal language with which Tanguy transformed the boundaries of Modernist painting.
Max Ernst’s 1941 oil on canvas La Comédie de la soif, a masterpiece of the artist’s wartime oeuvre, was sold for £1,609,250 / $2,559,995 / ˆ1,927,402 (est. £1.2 - 1.8 million).
René Magritte’s Souvenir de Voyage of 1962-63 sold for £1,609,250 / $2,559,995 ˆ1,927,402 against a pre-sale estimate of £1.5 - 2 million.
The sale featured a strong offering of works by German artists, including the above mentioned Ernest Ludwig Kirchner painting Das Boskett: Albertplatz in Dresden of 1911; Emil Nolde’s 1908 Blumengarten, ohne Figur, which sold for £2,057,250/$3,272,67/ ˆ2,463,973 (est. £2 – 3 million); and Alexej von Jawlensky’s 1911 Mädchen mit Roter Schleife, which sold for £ 3,065,250/$ 4,876,200/ ˆ 3,671,257 (est. £3-5 million).
• Sold by lot: 76.9%
• Sold by value: 76%
• Of the 53 lots offered, 41 sold
• Average lot value: £1,922,870
• 25 lots sold for over £1 million, 34 sold for over $1 million