Cover of the catalog for last night’s Contemporary Art auction at Phillips de Pury & Co showing Thomas Schutte’s Doppelkopf (1994), via Phillipsdepury.com
Last night’s Contemporary Art auction at Phillips de Pury & Co reinforced uncertainties regarding the present state of the Contemporary Art market, as the sale earned just £3,963,450 against the pre-sale estimate of £6,075,000-8,575,000 (totals realized include buyer’s premium, estimates do not). Of 45 lots offered only 24 found buyers, leaving 47% of the lots unsold. For comparison, last year’s Contemporary Art Auction at Phillips earned £5.1 million.
More text and images after the jump…
No lots were valued over £1 million, and only four surpassed the £300,000 mark. The cover lot, Thomas Schutte‘s Doppelkopf, was the highest grossing lot, selling for £481,250 (estimate £400,00-600,00).
The most notable failure was the highest estimated lot at the sale, Roy Lichtenstein‘s Prop for a Film, which did not find a buyer last night.
While it may be an exaggeration to say that the disappointing results of the Phillips sale is an indication of the Contemporary Art market’s decline, it is certainly no indication of its recovery, either.
Phillips de Pury & Co Contemporary Art Evening Auction [Phillipsdepury.com]
Phillips Suffers a Brutal Contemporary Art Sale, with Nearly Half of Its Lots Failing [Artinfo.com]
‘Buyer Fatigue’ Blights Auction as Lots Fail, Art Market’s Recovery Stalls [Bloomberg.com]