Thanks to dealer Larry Gagosian, artist Jeff Koons now has a new auction record. His “Diamond (Blue)” had a hammer price of $11.8 million (including buyer’s premium) at Christie’s postwar/contemporary sale. But the record still didn’t surpass the estimates Christie’s had stuck on the bling – both of them.
Back in September, the auction house announced that the sculpture’s estimate of $12 million. About five weeks later, the Guardian published a $20 million estimate for the diamond. The $8 million increase was confirmed by a Christie’s rep to AO a week later.
The piece was offered up for auction supposedly by publishing magnate Benedikt Taschen, who bought it from Gagosian Gallery last year for $3.5 million. Coincidence? Maybe not. Sentiments that the diamond was overpriced were expressed, even at the $12 million mark. Christie’s defended the price with “supply and demand”, but apparently the demand wasn’t high enough.
The high-profile “Liz” by Andy Warhol pictured in the background of the photo above sold under its $25-35 million estimate for a hammer price of $21 million to collector Alberto Mugrabi, who reportedly is “heavily invested in the artist”. According to an article on Bloomberg.com, others were hesitant to participate in the high price, since everyone knew the consignor, actor Hugh Grant, had paid $3.5 million for it at auction in 2001.
Freud, Koons Set Records at Christie’s N.Y.C. Auction [Bloomberg]
A Few Between-Auction Thoughts on the Art Market [CultureGrrl]