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Prices down for top-end art but buyers are still there

09 February 2009Written by ATG Reporter

THE flagship art sales in London saw a good take up last week after estimates were cut by as much as 40 per cent from their boom levels.

With a period of correction now well underway at the top end of the modern and contemporary market, Sotheby's and Christie's offered tightly edited evening sales of Impressionist and Modern Art on February 3 and 4 respectively.

Both salerooms took a tougher line with vendors to ensure that works were pitched at much lower levels than they were last summer.

As a result, the auctions saw impressive selling rates with Sotheby's setting a £28.4m hammer total with 22 of their 29 lots finding buyers, while Christie's made £55.4m with 39 of 47 lots sold.

The top lot at Sotheby's was the Edgar Degas' bronze Petite danseuse de quatorze ans, which made £11.8m against a £9m-12m estimate, while the highest price at Christie's was for Dans la prairie by Claude Monet which made £10m against an unpublished estimate of around £15m.

Sotheby's held their Contemporary Art evening sale on February 5 which also saw a high selling rate with 25 of the 27 works sold for a £15.4m total.

Christie's contemporary evening sale takes place on February 11.

A report of the Impressionist & Modern and Contemporary Art sales will appear in a future issue of ATG's printed newspaper. To subscribe, click here.

By Alex Capon

Antiques Trade Gazette is the weekly bible of the fine art and antiques industry. Read articles like this every week in the Antiques Trade Gazette or ATG app. Click here to subscribe today.

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