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    Sotheby's Sale of Masterworks from the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon totals $158.7 million

    Date: 11 Nov 2014 | | Views: 1650

    Source: ArtDaily

    NEW YORK, NY.- Bill Ruprecht, Sotheby's President, Chairman and CEO, commented: “Mrs. Mellon was an American icon, but tonight’s sale was truly an international. With works spanning four centuries and evoking her refined and eclectic taste, collectors from every corner of the globe competed tonight for a part of her distinguished legacy – leading to a rare ‘White Glove’ sale. These results are not only a fitting tribute to Mrs. Mellon, but a wonderful start to the spectacular series of exhibitions and sales from her Collection that continue this November.”

    Alexander Rotter, Co-Head of Sotheby’s Global Contemporary Art Department, commented: “With the outstanding selection of contemporary art from Mrs. Mellon’s collection achieving $117 million tonight, our week of sales in this category is off to a tremendous start. It was a privilege to present the two fantastic canvases by Mark Rothko that led the sale, acquired by the Mellons more than four decades ago – evidence of Mrs. Mellon’s exceptional eye.”

    Tonight’s ‘White Glove’ auction (100% sold by lot) offering a curated selection of the most significant fine art from the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon totaled $158,737,250, well-exceeding its high estimate of $120.1 million

    o Global bidding for the collection of the American icon was evidenced by participation from 32 countries spanning 4 continents

    The auction was led by two paintings by Mark Rothko that both exceeded expectations: Untitled from 1970, which achieved $39,925,000 (est. $15/20 million), and Untitled (Yellow, Orange, Yellow, Light Orange) from 1955, which fetched $36,565,000 (est. $20/30 million)

    o Both works had remained in the Mellons’ collection for more than four decades

    o Eight bidders competed for Untitled, and five competed for Untitled (Yellow, Orange, Yellow, Light Orange)

    The Contemporary works from the collection together brought $116.6 million

    o Eight paintings and works on paper by Richard Diebenkorn totaled $32.2 million, led by Ocean Park #89 that sold for $9,685,000 (est. $8/12 million)

    o All five works on offer by Nicolas de Staël exceeded their high estimates

    Collectors competed enthusiastically for works spanning 400 years of art history and across mediums, reflecting Mrs. Mellon’s eclectic and renowned taste:

    o Works on paper across styles and genres performed well throughout the night, led by Georges Seurat’s Femme tenant un bouquet from circa 1882, which fetched $5,317,000 (est. $2/3 million)

    § The work was a Christmas gift from Mr. Mellon to his wife in 1956

    o Old Master Paintings were highlighted by Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder’s Still Life of Variegated Tulips, Roses, and Other Flowers in a Glass Vase from the early-17th century, which brought $4,645,000 (est. $3/4 million)

    o Each of the three sculptures on offer by Diego Giacometti – a longtime friend of Mrs. Mellon – exceeded its estimate, featuring Table au dragon à l’oiseau that brought $1,745,000 (est. $200/300,000)

    § Giacometti painted the works white at Mrs. Mellon’s request

    o New auction records were set for Eva Gonzalez and Gwen John

    Sotheby’s sales of Mrs. Mellon’s collection continue this month, with public exhibitions opening this Saturday, 15 November for the following auctions:

    o Jewelry & Objects of Vertu: 20 & 21 November

    § Highlighted by A Magnificent and Rare Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond Pendant estimated to sell for $10/15 million

    o Interiors: 21 – 23 November

    § Offering fine art, furniture, porcelain, silver, glassware, decoration and more from Mrs. Mellon’s residences in the United States and abroad.

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