AO Onsite Auction Results – New York: Christie's Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale Realizes $140M, or 55% By Value; Top Degas Bought InTuesday, November 1st, 2011
Christie’s evening sale of Impressionist and Modern art on Tuesday night brought in $140 million against presale estimates of $210-300 million. Four of the top 5 most valuable lots failed to sell, including the auction’s cover lot – a Degas ballerina sculpture with a presale estimate of $25-35 million. The Degas had been shopped around privately with no luck and carried what many believed to be a very aggressive estimate. The auction house cited those two facts to explain that lot’s failure, as well as the overall performance of the sale. In general, fresh to market material faired best, and hefty presale estimates deterred bidding on the priciest works. What turned out to be the evening’s top lot – Max Ernest‘s The Stolen Mirror – was both fresh to market and carried an estimate in line with the artist’s records and with heightened interest in Surrealist material over the past few auction cycles. The canvas set the record for the artist at auction when it sold for $16.3 million against a high estimate of $6 million. The previous record was set this past June at Christie’s London with a 1923 work that brought $4.4 million.