Sunday, May 24, 2009

Subpar Hammer Price Trend

Closing Bids Pass Muster at Christie's, Sotheby's Index Falls Below the Benchmark


On May 6, Christie's New York sold $102.7 million worth of Impressionist and Modern Art -- a satisfactory upshot in these sterile economic times. Their presale estimate was $87.6 million to $125.2 million. Nonetheless, the May 6th sale fell considerably below last spring's sale of $277 million and Yves Saint Laurent's Impressionist and modern sale in Paris.


Picasso's "Mosquetaire a la Pipe," a 1968 portrait of a musketeer smoking a pipe in an apple-green jacket and violet cap. Estimate: $12-$18 million; final hammer price, $14.6 million. Picasso's "Femme au Chapeau," which was plucked from Julian Schnabel's collection and sold to Monte Carlo art dealer, David Nahmad, for $7.7 million. In entirety, 38 of 48 works sold, which is a strong showing that achieved 94% of its prospective value. Picasso's "Arlequin," priced to sell for $600,000, failed to sell as did other works by Chagall and Klee. Auxillary sales included a landscape by Jean Baptiste Corot titled "Plaine aux environs d'etampes," which sold for $350,000 ($100,000 above its presale estimate); a Giacometti bust, "Buste de Diego (Stele III)," for $7.6 million; Lempicka's "Madame M," which closed at $6.1 million.

Read more highlights in KiptonART Online Magazine!
Kipton Cronkite Approved!

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