The November auctions are over, as Christie’s capped its final major evening sale of the year to strong results, with 13 lots going unsold out of the 62 offered, tallying a final of $145,545,000.
The sale began with an Henri Matisse work, which saw steady, eager bids to push it to almost quadruple its estimate, gradually pushing its way up to a final of $3,805,000. A Picasso in the third lot also performed to a similar tune, bringing a final price of $3,749,000, and a Matisse sculpture followed up, bringing a final of $2,965,000. A Camille Pissarro also saw eager bids, but settled at low estimate for a $2,965,000 final. Two lots later, one of the evening’s top lots, a Paul Cézanne still-life, stalled at the low estimate and sold for a final of $9,125,000. A Sisley was the first pass of the evening in the next lot. Two lots later, another auction highlight came with the evening’s first Marc Chagall brought a final of $6,885,000, just above its low estimate. After a lull of lower-priced sculptures, another Chagall met estimate for a final of $2,165,000, and another Picasso tripled estimate for $3,525,000.
Several lots later, another crop of top-priced lots came up, with a Pablo Picasso still-life reaching a final of $10,469,000, and a René Magritte, the evening’s cover lot, beat estimate for a $6,661,000 final. One lot later, a Kay Sage sold for ten times the estimate, a final of $1,205,000. A Joan Miró followed up strong, hitting a final price of $5,429,000. Another Picasso was a strong lot shortly after, beating a $4mil high to reach $5,317,000, and the large Miró sculpture, Personnage, beat estimate as well for a $7,109,000 final.
The sale entered its last round of top-priced works at lot 37, when another Camille Pissarro limped to its low estimate for $2,965,000, followed by a late Claude Monet that sold for a final of $5,765,000, under its $6 mil high. Several lots later, an Edgar Degas failed to sell, but an Henri Matisse portrait blew past its $4.5mil high, doubling up to sell for a final of $9,125,000. Henry Moore’s Two Piece Reclining Figure: Points was another highlight of the sale, meeting estimate to bring a final of $7,669,000 after competitive bidding slowed down. “We’re done!” auctioneer Andreas Rumbler exclaimed as he closed the lot in favor of UK dealer Alan Hobart.
After another string of passes and tepid bidding, hinting at a certain degree of auction fatigue and the night’s long catalog, the auction house hit on Jean Hélion work at lot 54, which quadrupled estimate for a final $3,413,000. A string of passes closed the evening, save another Chagall that beat estimate for $2,165,000, drawing the fall auction calendar to a close.
Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Sale [Christie’s]
Tasty Leftovers at Christie’s Imp/Mod Art Sale Total $145M [Observer]
Impressionist and Modern Works Bring Solid Bids at Christie’s Auction [New York Times]