Sotheby’s kicked off the auction week last night with its sale of works from the collection of Ms. Paul “Bunny” Mellon, a successful outing that say 100% of the works available sold, and which achieved a final sales tally of $158.7 million, a strong figure that reached $38 million above the high estimate.
The sale was capped by the sale of a pair of world-class Mark Rothko paintings, both of which earned final sales prices in the range of $30 million. The first, an untitled green and blue work from 1970, lead the auction with the final sales price of $39,925,000, while a second work from 1955 followed quickly after, bringing in the final price of $36.6 million.
The sale also saw strong outings from Richard Diebenkorn, who followed the pair of Rothkos with a pair of his own. Ocean Park #89 brought in the final price of $9.7 million, while Ocean Park #50 earned $8,229,000. Other strong lots were seen from Georges Seurat (whose Femme tenant un bouquet doubled its estimate to sell for $5,317,000, while a Rene Magritte work brought in $2,285,000 to open the sale.
The sales continue with Sotheby’s evening sale tomorrow night.
— D. Creahan
Sotheby’s Auction from the Collection Ms. Paul Mellon Collection [Sotheby’s]
Sotheby’s Wins Big with $158.7 Million Sale from Mellon Estate [WSJ]
Rothko and O’Keeffe Works Among Highlights of Mellon Auction [NYT]