Amedeo Modigliani, Nu Assis Sur un Divan (La Belle Romaine), 1917 (est. $40 million, realized $68.9 million), via Sothebys.com
The fall auction season in New York kicked off on Tuesday evening with Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern sale. The 61-lot auction carried a presale estimate of $195-266 million and realized $227,561,000. Just four lots accounted for more than half of the evening’s earnings, while 15 lots were bought in. Amedeo Modigliani‘s Nu Assis Sur un Divan (La Belle Romaine) was the top lot, bringing in a staggering $68.9 million and setting the record for a work by the artist at auction.
More results and images after the jump…
The second-highest earning lot was Claude Monet‘s Le Bassin Aux Nympheas, which sold just above its low presale estimate of $20 million. It was last sold in 1999 at Sotheby’s in New York for $9.9 million.
Matisse‘s Danseuse Dans le Fauteuil, Sol en Damier took third place – bringing in $20.8 million against a high presale estimate of $18 million. The other Modigliani canvas for sale Tuesday night sold well above its high presale estimate of $12 million.
Henri Matisse, Deux Negresses, conceived 1907-1908 and cast 1930 (est. $8-10 million, realized $8.5 million), via Sothebys.com
While the top four lots performed very well, several other works failed to sell or sold at or below their low presale estimates. A Matisse sculpture, Deux Negresses, met its low presale estimate of $8 million only after the buyer’s premium was added.
Another work by Matisse that carried a presale estimate of $6-8 million, titled Titine Trovato En Robe Et Chapeau, failed to sell, as did a Picasso canvas that carried the same presale estimate. Three works by Henry Moore were offered for sale, and none found buyers. Bidders also passed on works by Camille Pissarro, Max Beckmann, Joan Miró, Francis Picabia, Pierre-August Renoir, Pierre Bonnard, and Edgar Degas.
Four of the five Picasso’s for sale found buyers, but two only reached their low pre-sale estimates with the addition of the buyer’s premium. Of the four Bugatti sculptures offered, three found buyers with one piece selling below its presale estimate.
The auction ended with a work by Oskar Kokoschka that sold for more than double the high presale estimate of $800,000.
The Sotheby’s sale was a mixed bag and seemed to indicate that the strength of the market right now lies at a very high end of the spectrum. Check back tomorrow for on-site coverage of Christie’s Impressionist & Modern sale, and next week for the Contemporary auctions.