LONDON.-Sothebys series of Impressionist & Modern Art sales this week realized a total of £144,455,275 ($285,001,113/192,763,750) the highest total for any series of Impressionist & Modern Art sales ever staged in Europe.
Robin Woodhead, Chief Executive, Sothebys International said: The success of Sothebys Impressionist and Modern sales this week the highest in the companys history in Europe demonstrated that the market wants quality above all else. Desirable material across a range of categories attracted established collectors as well as a healthy percentage of new buyers. Global competition from Russia, Asia, Europe and America continued to be a factor.
New benchmarks were set: The evening sale realized £116,699,900 ($230,517,312/155,560,491) making it the highest totalling sale of Impressionist & Modern Art held by the company in Europe. For the first time ever in Europe, five lots were sold at over £5 million in a single sale. Almost 60% of the lots sold in the Impressionist & Modern Evening sale sold for prices in excess of their high estimates the highest percentage ever at that level in such a sale. German & Austrian Art realized £39,646,100 the highest sum ever realized for any offering of such works in Europe. The Impressionist Day and Works on Paper Sales made a combined total of £27.7 ($54.5/37.2) million the highest combined total for any such sales ever held in Europe In addition: Sothebys achieved the highest price for any Impressionist & Modern work sold this season with Franc Marcs Weidende Pferde III which sold for £12,340,500 ($24,376,190). Further top prices included: £9,428,500 ($18,624,116/12,568,152) for Schokko mit Tellerhut by Alexej von Jawlensky a record price for the artist, and double what the same work had made when it appeared on the market in 2003 ($8,296,000) £7,412,500 ($14,641,911/9,880,832) for Pierre-Auguste Renoirs La Loge an exquisite version of one of the Courtauld Gallerys best-loved Impressionist paintings. The painting made three times its pre-sale estimate of £2,500,0003,500,000. It will now be loaned the Courtauld Gallery for an exhibition on Renoirs La Loge, to run from February 21 May 25, 2008 £7,412,500 ($14,641,911/9,880,832) for Pablo Picassos striking 1938 portrait of Dora Maar - Tête de Femme (La Lectrice - Dora Maar), from the collection of the noted connoisseur, collector and dealer Heinz Berggruen £5,620,500 ($11,102,174/7,492,104) for Alberto Giacomettis Buste - the second highest price for a painting by the artist at auction. And £3,716,500 ($7,341,202/4,954,079) for Henry Moores Draped Reclining Mother and Baby, 1983 - the highest price ever achieved for any work by Moore sold in the UK.