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Bidders move fast for Modern sculptures at Sotheby’s New York

May 17, 2017


Another “test” of the art market took place last night.  I say “test” because I do not believe that these specific sales can really give you a complete understanding of the art market’s health.  All they tell you is … were the works being offered of interest to one individual or a broader market.

The sale started off with a bit of a downer when it was announced that their start lot was withdrawn right before the sale:  Danaë – Egon Schiele’s first oil painting of a nude woman (est. $30-$40M).  Rumor are that since there was no pre-sale interest the owner decided not to let it BI (buy in).  So, it was left to a tiny work by Kazirmir Malevich, Suprematist Composition with Plane in Projection, to take the top spot … and it did at $21.2M (est. $12-18M).

In the end, of the 50 works offered, 37 sold (74%) and the total take was $173.8M (est. $147-210.4M).  News reports state the sale fell comfortably within its estimate range; however, it is important to remember that the estimate range does not include the buyer’s premium, while the sale’s total does.

We will give you a more complete review of the sales in our upcoming Comments on the Art Market.

Source: Bidders move fast for Modern sculptures at Sotheby’s New York




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