Thursday - 23 October 2014

London doubles Impressionist takings

13 December 1999Written by ATG Reporter

The international market for Impressionist and Modern art saw further consolidation last week in London when Sotheby’s and Christie’s Part I and Part II sales turned over a combined total of £86.3m, some 45 per cent up on the £47.8m achieved at the equivalent sales last year.

The week saw a number of major-name works fetch multimillion pound prices, led by the £16.5m paid by an anonymous telephone bidder for Cezanne’s recently-recovered Bouilloire et Fruits at Sotheby’s on December 7. Sotheby’s also achieved a record £4.8m for Van Gogh’s 1889 drawing Oliviers avec les Alpilles au Fond – bought as a private bequest to New York’s Museum of Modern Art – and a further £9.8m for the 25 separately catalogued works by Picasso from the Versace Collection, estimated at £8m.

Van Gogh also starred at Christie’s on December 8 when a collector paid a double-estimate £2.7m for the 1886 canvas A Pair of Shoes. Christie’s abandoned their experiment of selling 19th and 20th century art on separate evenings, reverting to a more concentrated two-part sale divided into separately-catalogued Impressionist & Post Impressionist and 20th Century sections. Surrealism attracted particularly strong demand with record prices paid for Paul Delvaux’s Le Miroir (£2.9m) and Yves Tanguy’s Un grand Tableau qui represente un Paysage (£1.4m).

Phillips also had their moment when a sextuple-estimate £300,000 was paid for a Théo van Rysselberghe Coastal Scene at their December 7 sale of 20th Century Continental Art.

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