2398 NE Sothebys Imps Mods auction 2.jpg
Amedeo Modigliani’s 'Portrait of an Anonymous Youth' (1918) sold at Sotheby's for a premium-inclusive £18.4m.

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The auctions generated a £173.6m combined total (including premium) compared to £255.75m for the equivalent sales last year. It represented the smallest amount changing hands at a London Imps & Mods series since June 2009.

The evening sale at Christie’s on June 18 offered 31 lots of which 24 sold for £36.4m with a lack of high-value consignments the main reason for the lower total compared to the company's £128.1m evening sale in this category in June 2018.

The top lot was Pablo Picasso’s (1881-1973) Homme et femme nus from 1968 which knocked down at £10.8m against a £10m-15m guide.

Sotheby’s sale the following night achieved a higher total and selling rate with 23 of the 25 lots selling for £98.9m. The total was up on both the firm's June and February Imps & Mods sales last year. 

Three of the top four lots were guaranteed by third parties, including a 1908 painting from Claude Monet’s (1840-1926) Nymphéas series that led the sale when it was knocked down at £21m.

Although it sold below its £25m-35m estimate, it was top lot of the latest series.