As with Christie’s, Sotheby’s pinned their hopes on Picasso, and the gamble paid off when his Femme au béret et à la robe quadrillée sold for £49.8M ($69.4M – est. on request – they were figuring $50M) and Le Matador brought £16.52M ($22.95M – est. £14-18M). Coming in third was a small (15 x 18 inch) Fauve period work by Andre Derain, Bateaux à Collioure, at £10.88M ($15.1M – est. £7.5-10M) … this same work sold back in 2011 for £5.9M ($9.4M). Rounding out the top 5 were Umberto Boccioni’s record setting Testa+Luce+Ambiente at £9.1M ($12.6M – est. £5.5-7.5M) and Alberto Giacometti’s Lustre avec femme, homme et oiseau which made £7.6M ($10.6M – est. £6-9M).
Of course, there were a few that failed to find buyers, including works by Schiele, Marini, Rodin, Pissarro, Braque and Leger. However, the pluses far outweighed the minuses and by the time this compact sale of 26 works ended, 18 found new homes (69.2%) and the total take was a very respectable £118.9M ($165M) … the low end of their estimate range was about £90.8M ($126M). According to my calculations, 1 work sold below, 12 within and 5 above their estimate range … giving them an accuracy rate of over 46%! In addition, the top 5 works brought in £93.9M ($130.4M) or 79% of the sale’s total … those 5 lots alone, eclipsed the low end of the pre-sale estimate range … so it was smooth sailing after that. There is still a lot more to come!