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19th Century Part 2: More Tough Lessons For Christie’s

October 29, 2019
Edmund Blair Leighton’s My Lady Passeth By

Leighton “My Lady Passeth By”

Since I gave my critique of their actions in part 1 of this sale, I am just going to jump in on this one – as Led Zeppelin once wrote: The Song Remains the Same (I actually played the music while writing this).

Munier "Un Sauvetage"

Munier “Un Sauvetage”

Taking the number one spot in the afternoon session was Edmund Blair Leighton’s My Lady Passeth By which carried a $100-150K estimate and hammered for $150K ($187.5K w/p).  Number two was a tie: Munier’s Un Sauvetage (est. $150-250K) and Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse’s sculpture Leda and the Swan (est. $25-40K) each made $120K ($150K w/p); and in the number three they had Valerius de Saedeleer’s Paysage d’hiver, coucher du soleil which blew past its $60-80K estimate to sell for $115K ($144K w/p).

Carrier-Belleuse "Leda and the Swan"

Carrier-Belleuse “Leda and the Swan”

Rounding out to top five were sculptures by Cesare Lapini (est. $30-50K) and Iledebrando Bastiani (est. $40-60K) which sold for $110K ($138K w/p).  What I found very interesting is that the buyer of these two works, also purchased the Carrier-Belleuse, along with sculptures by Caroni ($87.5K), Franchi ($87.5K), and paintings by Soulacroix ($37.5K) and Rossi ($22.5K).  Someone had a successful day!

Saedeleer "Paysage d’hiver, coucher du soleil"

Saedeleer “Paysage d’hiver, coucher du soleil”

There were a couple of works that did rather well, Jozef Israels’s Woman Drinking Coffee ($70K w/p – est. $20-30K) and Herring’s Portrait of a Gentleman, Possibly John Mytton, in Costume, on Horseback… ($32.5K w/p – est. $8-12K).  On the other side, there were many works that just did not cut the mustard including those by Raffaelli (est. $150-250K); Biard ($80-120K); Bonnat ($70-100K); von Blaas ($150-250K); de Schryver ($200-300K); Bridgman ($100-150K); and Dawson ($150-250K).

At the end, of the 87 works offered, 48 found buyers (55% — that was better than the morning session), and the total take was $1.9M ($2.38M w/p) … their presale estimate range was $3.5-5.3M, so they fell way short again.  Of the 48 sold works, 30 were below, 10 within, and 8 above their estimate range giving them an 11.5% accuracy rate … another weak showing.

When we combine the two sales, we find that they offered 111 works, sold 57 (51% sell-through rate), and had a total of $16.42M ($19.9M w/p), and presale range of $24.2-36.8M.  Hopefully, they do a better job next time.