Archive for the 'Auction Results' Category

New York – AO Auction Results: Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale, Wednesday, November 7th, 2012, Fluctuating sales with records achieved.

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Wassily Kandinsky, Studie für Improvisation 8 (1909)  which sold for a record breaking $23,042,500, image courtesy Christie’s

Despite a nor’easter last night in New York, Christie’s had a full house for its Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale, which boasted a sale total of $204, 800,000 with just 48 of 69 lots sold.  The sales achieved were not always consistent but very high numbers were reached during many bids.  The value sold by lot was 80%, with most of the works that did sell achieving their high estimate or beyond.  Head of the Department, Brooke Lampley, declared it a “strong sale” in the post auction press conference.

Sale room at Christie's
Sale room at Christie’s, photo by ArtObserved

The major excitement of the sale came with the record-breaking price of $23 million for Kandinsky’s Studie für Improvisation 8  – the highest price ever paid at auction for a work by the artist. The painting is an early figurative example of the artist’s transition to abstraction. (more…)

New York – AO Auction Results: Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Day Sales, November 7th, 2012

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Kees Van Dongen Deux Nus Aux Ballons Courtesy Sotheby's
Kees Van Dongen, Deux Nus Aux Ballons Courtesy Sotheby’s
LOT SOLD. 1,314,500 USD  (Hammer Price with Buyer’s Premium)

Sotheby’s concluded its Impressionist  & Modern day sale today, with a sale total (including buyer’s premium) of $39,910,775. The auction house sold 73% of lots in the morning session and 62% in the afternoon session.

Pablo Picasso Tête d'homme Courtesy Sotheby's
Pablo Picasso, Tête d’homme Courtesy Sotheby’s
LOT SOLD. 1,142,500 USD  (Hammer Price with Buyer’s Premium) (more…)

Auction Results – London: Sotheby’s Postwar & Contemporary Evening sale, Friday, October 12th, 2012

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Gerhard Richter Abstraktes Bild 1994
Image: Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild, 1994 via Sotheby’s
Estimate: £9,000,000 – 12,000,000
Sold for: £21,321,250

Sotheby’s just concluded its evening Postwar & Contemporary sale in London on October 12th with a sale total of £44,146,350 ($70,793,087),  the highest total of the three auction houses this week.

Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild, 1994 from the collection of Eric Clapton set a record price at £21,321,250 ($34,297,363). Alongside this work, the second cover lot of the sale was Yves Klein’s RE 9-I from the artist’s most sought-after series: the Relief éponge, which sold for  £3,737,250 with premium.

Yves Klein Sponge Relief via Sotheby's
Image: Yves Klein, RE 9-I, 1961 via Sotheby’s
Estimate: £2,000,000 – 3,000,000
Sold for: £3,737,250


AO Auction Results – London: Phillips de Pury & Co. Contemporary Evening Sale Results, October 10th, 2012

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Richter Abstraktes Bild 1977 via Phillips
Image: Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild, 1977
oil on canvas, 78 3/4 x 118 1/8 in
ESTIMATE £2,500,000 – 3,500,000
SOLD AT £2,449,250

Phillips de Pury & Co. realized £12,223,600 ($19,565,094) in its Contemporary Evening sale in London on October 10th, with 24 of 37 lots sold. Notable sales were a Basquiat entitled Big Joy from 1984, sold just above its low estimate at £2,617,250 including premium ($4,189,170), and a Gerhard Richter Abstraktes Bild from 1977, which sold for £2,449,250 ($3,920,269), with a presale estimate of £2,500,000-3,500,000 ($4,001,500 – $5,602,100). (more…)

Constable’s ‘The Lock’ breaks artist record at £22.4 million at Christie’s Auction in London

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

John Constable’s “The Lock” (1824) which sold for £22.4 million, within its £20-25 million estimate

John Constable‘s “The Lock” broke the artist’s record sale at an auction today at at Christie’s in London. The British painting from the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection sold in its £20-25 million estimate at £22.4 million, earning a joint fourth place title on the list of most-expensive Old Masters.


AO Auction Results — London: Phillips de Pury Contemporary Art Evening Auction, June 28, 2012

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Olympics (1984) which sold for a record-breaking price of £6 million

This evening in London, Phillips de Pury‘s Contemporary Art Evening exceeded pre-sale estimates of £15.1- £21.1 million, with sales totaling £23.4 million. Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat‘s Olympics (1984) at £6 million broke the record for a Warhol-Basquiat collaboration. With three pieces in the auction selling for over a million pounds, the take was over twice the amount received just a year ago for the auction house. Of 30 original lots, 2 were withdrawn (including a Cindy Sherman piece) and 4 were passed on. Although the total sum was not as large as the sales of either Christie’s or Sotheby’s, it was the only auction house to surpass pre-sale estimates for this week.


AO Auction Results – London: Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction, June 27, 2012

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Yves Klein,  Le Rose du bleu (1960) which sold for £23.5 million (£3.5 million over its high estimate)

Last night in London, Christie’s Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening Auction experienced a stellar sale. Totaling £132.8 million against an expected excess of  £120 million, it was the highest grossing contemporary art sale in Europe. Achieving sales with an 87% sell-through rate and 98% sold by value – Christie’s sold all but 9 on it’s 71 lots – save for the 2 withdrawn. Four of the lots sold above £10 million, and five lots boosted over $10 million. Christie’s Head of Post-War & Contemporary Art, Europe, Francis Outred, was quoted in a post-sale press release: “Following the record result achieved at Christie’s New York in May, we are delighted with tonight results which established a new record for an auction of Post-War & Contemporary Art in Europe… Overall we brought together consignments from four continents, reached buyers on four continents and benefitted from a depth and strength of bidding from across the room and on the phone.”


AO Auction Results – New York: Phillips de Pury Contemporary Evening Sale

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s, Untitled (1981). Image courtesy of Phillips de Pury.

The Contemporary Art Evening Sale at Phillips de Pury marked the last auction of the May season in New York. At the start, the salesroom was filled with lively energy among the crowd, with collectors mingling, including a Mugrabi brother. This show came after a record breaking fortnight of auctions and fairs within the art world. Coming down to the final sale, it was apparent that the buying was beginning to slow. Still, Phillips de Pury achieved a solid total sale of $86.8 million, which fell within their anticipated estimate of $75–110 million.

Before the Contemporary Evening Sale begins. Photo By Aubrey Roemer for Art Observed.


AO On Site Auction Results – New York: Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale, May 9, 2012

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Sotheby’s staff preparing for the sale. Photos on site for Art Observed by Aubrey Roemer unless otherwise noted.

After Tuesday night’s multi-record breaking sale at Christie’s, last night’s Contemporary Evening Sale at Sotheby’s seemed to hold a somewhat lower energy, possibly a result of the second consecutive week of auctions and fairs wearing on the collectors. Yet the sale totaled $266 million—within Sotheby’s pre-sale estimate of $215–300 million—a number considerably higher than last May’s Contemporary Evening Sale total of $128 million. Seven of the artworks sold at more than $10 million, and there was an overall sell-through rate of 80.7%. In a post-sale press conference, Sotheby’s Head of Contemporary Art, Alex Rotter, commented “the market is very healthy with active bidding.”

Tobias Meyer giving a press talk about the sale. (more…)

AO On Site Auction Results – New York: Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale at Christie’s, May 1, 2012

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Paul Cezanne, Jouer de cartes (1892–96). Image courtesy of Christie’s.

Last night’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale at Christie’s began this season’s auctions in New York. Christie’s overall sales totaled $117 million—well over their low estimate of $90.5 million. According to Christie’s, they achieved a sell-through rate of 96% by value and 90% by lot. In a post-auction press conference, Christie’s Head of the Department, Brooke Lampley, said that the results were exactly what they had expected, given that they had tailored their sale to match what the market was looking for.

View of the Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale at Christie’s. Photo by Aubrey Roemer for Art Observed.


Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

‬Sotheby’s contemporary Chinese art auction sold several works above estimated prices in Hong Kong on Monday, top sale was Zhang Xiaogang’s ‘Bloodline: Big Family No. 2′ for US$6.7 million, other sales including works by Liu Wei, Wang Guangyi, Jia Aili [AO Newslink]


AO Auction Results – London: Post-War and Contemporary Art Sales at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, February 14-15, 2012

Thursday, February 16th, 2012
Francis Bacon, Portrait of Henrietta Moraes (1963). All images via Christie’s and Sotheby’s.
Over the past two days, the evening Post-War and Contemporary Art auctions held by Christie’s and Sotheby’s have demonstrated investors’ continuing interest in the art market. On Tuesday, Christie’s total sales crept up to $126.5 million—just short of their high estimate of $131.9 million. Sotheby’s was farther behind in overall total, but overshot their high estimate of $75.3 million with a total sales $79.5 million, including fees. London-based art adviser Wendy Goldsmith said, “We expected fireworks, and we got it,”  in an interview with Bloomberg News. (more…)

AO Auction Results: Old Masters Sales at Christie’s and Sotheby’s January 25-26, 2012

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Giovanni Antonio Canal, called Canaletto, View of the Churches of the Redentore and San Giacomo. Via Bloomberg.

Sotheby’s and Christie’s closed the week strongly with sales of the concurrent Old Masters auctions reaching $120 million. Sotheby’s came out on top, bringing in $67.7 million thus far, with Christie’s totaling $51.8 million, including commissions. These sales continue to reinforce the vitality of the art market, despite international economic turbulence. Many record prices were set for artists this past week, as the cross section of European Master Works drew interest from buyers and institutions around the world.

AO Onsite Auction Results: Guggenheim Benefit Auction & Contemporary Art Evening Sale Realize $74M Total at Phillips de Pury

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 2006 (est. $8-12 million, realized $9 million), via

Phillips de Pury kicked off the week of Contemporary art sales on Monday night with two back-to-back auctions. First came a 22-lot benefit auction with all proceeds going to the Guggenheim Foundation, immediately followed by the 44-lot evening sale of Contemporary art. The Guggenheim sale was estimated to bring $1.5-2.2 million and realized $2.7 million (the buyer’s premium was eliminated for that sale), and the evening sale brought in $71 million against a high estimate of $97 million. The evening’s top lot was an untitled Cy Twombly canvas that fetched $9 million against estimates of $8-12 million.


AO Onsite Auction Results – New York: Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale at Sotheby’s Realizes $200M, Restituted Klimt Sells for $40M

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Gustav Klimt, Litzlberg am Attersee, 1914-15 (est. in excess of $25 million, realized $40.4 million) via

The Impressionist and Modern art evening auction at Sotheby’s New York on Wednesday night realized $200 million for 57 of 70 lots sold. Business proceeded as usual within the auction house despite the deafening cacophony from protesters stationed outside the building’s main entrance (Sotheby’s has been feuding with their art handlers for months). Earlier today the auction house announced that one of the evening’s top lots – one of Matisse‘s bronze Nu De Dos sculptures estimated to bring $20-30 million- had been withdrawn from the sale after having been sold privately yesterday afternoon (along with the other three in the series, which also belonged to the Burnett Foundation, and which were slated to sell at auction over the next year). Excluding the Matisse, the sale carried estimates of $168-230 million. The $200 million total fell comfortably within expectations and bested Christie’s comparable sale on Tuesday evening. At the press conference Sotheby’s noted that last night’s results at Christie’s were “sobering” and that they did take the opportunity today to talk to consignors and in some cases lower reserves.


AO Onsite Auction Results – New York: Christie's Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale Realizes $140M, or 55% By Value; Top Degas Bought In

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Max Ernst, The Stolen Mirror, 1941 (est. $4-6 million, realized $16.3 million), via

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.


AO Auction Results – London: Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale Realizes $28M; 20th Century Italian Art Sale Brings in $34M

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Alberto Burri, Combustione Legno, 1957 (est. $1.2-1.9 million, realized $5 million), via

Sotheby’s London hosted a pair of auctions on Thursday evening that raised a combined total of $62 million. The 20th Century Italian Art sale, comprised of 58 lots, was followed by a 47-lot Contemporary Art sale. The $34 million achieved for the Italian auction was the highest total for an auction in this category, while the Contemporary sale fell just short of its $30 million low estimate. The mixed results suggest that there is money to be spent on the most desirable lots and that buyers are not willing to shell out for anything less. The sales progressed amid demonstrations outside the auction house by protestors of the company’s months-long battle with their art handlers in New York.


AO On Site – Auction Results – “Artists for Haiti” Benefit Auction at Christie’s New York Organized by Ben Stiller and David Zwirner Raises $13.7M For Charity

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Raymond Pettibon, No Title (From life to…), 2011 (est. $200,000-300,000, realized $760,000), via

Ben Stiller and David Zwirner teamed up with Christie’s and hosted a much-hyped auction Thursday night with all proceeds benefiting relief efforts in Haiti. The event brought a little bit of LA to New York – Christie’s flew in Andrea Fiuczynski, president of Christie’s in Los Angeles, to conduct the auction, and a handful of celebrities were seen in the sales room. Fiuczynski reminded attendees, among them Ben Stiller and wife Christine Taylor, Jennifer Aniston and beau Justin Theroux, as well as tennis legend John McEnroe, that Christie’s would not be collecting a premium and that US buyers could claim a tax deduction for anything purchased that evening.
Christie’s Andrea Fiuczynski at the rostrum, via ArtObserved

AO Auction Results – London: Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale Realizes $174M; Duerckheim Collection Brings in $97M

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Sigmar Polke, Dschungel (Jungle), 1967 (est. $5-6.5 million, realized $9.2 million), via

Sotheby’s evening sale of Contemporary art on Wednesday night brought this round of summer sales to a close and removed any lingering doubt about the art market’s recovery. Eighty-one of 88 lots offered brought in $174 million against a high estimate of $168.5 million and set a record for any auction the company has staged in London. The results were boosted by the inclusion of thirty-four works belonging to Count Christian Duerckheim, a German industrialist who collected German art religiously and often befriended artists he patronized. The Duerckheim lots, which had the benefit not just of quality and freshness but also storied provenance, were all sold during the first portion of the auction and fetched $97 million against a high estimate of $74 million. Leading the collection was Sigmar Polke‘s dotted Dschungel of 1967 which sold for $9.2 million and set the artist’s auction record.

Francis Bacon, Crouching Nude, 1961 (est.$11-14 million, realized $13.7 million), via


AO Auction Results – London: Christie’s Contemporary Evening Sale Realizes $127M, Bacon & Warhol Are Top Lots

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Francis Bacon, Study for a Portrait, 1953 (est. unpublished, realized $28.6 million), via

Christie’s sale of Contemporary art on Tuesday night realized $127 million for 53 lots sold. The total, which fell just above the high estimate of $125 million once fees were added, is the highest for any sale at Christie’s in Europe since the boom of June 2008. The top lot was a Francis Bacon self portrait that shows a man sitting in a throne-like chair wearing a suit and glasses. The painting sold for $28.6 million against an unpublished estimate rumored to be about $17 million. A self portrait by the artist sold for $25 million at Christie’s spring sale in New York .

Andy Warhol, Mao, 1973 (est. $9.6-12.8 million, realized $11.1 million), via


AO Auction Results – London: Phillips de Pury’s Contemporary Art Sale Realizes $17M; Records Set for Beatriz Milhazes & Ugo Rondinone

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Beatriz Milhazes, O Moderno, 2002 (est. $1-1.3 million, realized $1.1 million), via

Phillips de Pury’s Contemporary art evening sale on Monday night at their new space in the Claridge’s Hotel, London realized $17 million for 27 of 31 lots sold. The sum (which includes fees) fell within presale estimates of $16.4-27.3 million despite the withdrawal of a high priced Cindy Sherman, reportedly because another version of the work sold at Art Basel earlier this month. The equivalent sale last year at Phillips realized just $6 million and nearly half the lots offered went unsold.


AO Auction Results – London: Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Evening Sale Realizes $157M for 32 Lots Sold; Record Set with $40M Schiele

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Egon SchieleHauser Mit Bunter Wasche (Vorstatd II), 1914 (est. $35.7-48.7 million, realized $40 million), via

Sotheby’s 35-lot sale of Impressionist and Modern art in London on Wednesday night realized $157 million for 32 lots sold against estimates of $124-178 million. The evening’s top lot was a rare Schiele cityscape that brought in $40 million (or $35.5 million without fees) and set a record for the artist at auction. The painting was sold by the Leopold Museum in Vienna to raise the $19 million necessary to settle the restitution case of another Schiele in their collection. The previous artist record was set at Christie’s in 2006 with the sale of a cityscape for $22 million.

Alberto Giacometti, Trois Hommes Qui Marchent II, 1948 (est. $16.2-24.3 million, realized $17.3 million), via


AO Auction Results – New York: Sotheby’s Old Masters Sale, June 9th, 2011

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Van Ruisdael, A Ruined Castle Gateway, all photos courtesy of Sotheby’s

Though not offered as much of a media spotlight as May’s auspicious and highly publicized Contemporary Art Auctions, today’s Old Masters at Sotheby’s was not entirely bereft of the spring auctions’ over-the-top price tags and bidding wars.

The belle of the ball came early in the sale when Lot 5, a landscape painting by Jacob Isaacksz Van Ruisdael with an estimate of $100,000- 150,000, sold at the Hammer Price of $725,000.  Sandwiched between several unsold lots, this work was an unpredictable success, garnering a sales price well beyond the scope of its estimate. Van Ruisdael’s auction record price was set in 2005, with a work that sold for $4.5 million; this anomaly aside, his work generally ranges from the $100,000-$400,000 range.  A Ruined Castle Gateway measures only 10 7/8 by 14 3/4 inches, but in spite of the work’s need for restoration and its small size, the painting is a beautiful example of Arcadian landscape portraiture.  The painting’s ruined walls harken back to the Roman Empire and ideals of classicism, and are a hallmark trait of Van Ruisdael’s work.


AO Onsite Auction Results – New York: Phillips de Pury’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction Realizes $94.8M; Warhol’s “Liz #5″ is Top Lot

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Andy Warhol, Liz #5, 1963 (est. unpublished, realized $26.9 million). All images via

The week’s Contemporary art sales ended Thursday night with a fifty lot auction at Phillips de Pury & Co. The sale just missed its low presale estimate of $84.5 million before fees were added. Thirty-eight lots sold for a total of $82.7 million, or $94.8 million with fees. For the third time this week a Warhol canvas was the top lot. Liz #5, rumored to be sold by hedge-fund manager Steven Cohen, sold for $26.9 million against an unpublished presale estimate of $20-30 million. Unlike Warhol’s photo-booth self portrait on offer Wednesday night at Christie’s, Liz #5‘s trip to the auction block was brief. Bidding opened at $18 million and rose to $24 million before contenders called it quits.

Andy Warhol and Jean Michel Basquiat, Third Eye, 1985 (est. $2-3 million, realized $7 million)

More text and images after the jump…