Sotheby’s Launches Auction Week with $158 Million Sale of Works from Mellon Collection

November 11th, 2014

Mark Rothko, Untitled (1970), via Sotheby's
Mark Rothko, Untitled (1970), via Sotheby’s

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.

Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park #89 (1975), via Sotheby's
Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park #89 (1975), via Sotheby’s

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.

René Magritte, L'Autre Son de Cloche (1952), via Sotheby's
René Magritte, L’Autre Son de Cloche (1952), via Sotheby’s

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.

Georges Seurat, Femme Tenant Un Bouquet (1882), via Sotheby's
Georges Seurat, Femme Tenant Un Bouquet (1882), via Sotheby’sMark Rothko, Untitled (Yellow, Orange, Yellow, Light Orange), (1955), via Sotheby's
Mark Rothko, Untitled (Yellow, Orange, Yellow, Light Orange) (1955), via Sotheby’s

— D. Creahan

Read more:
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]