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American Art – Sotheby’s
two women on the beach

American Art – Sotheby’s

The best way I can describe Sotheby’s New York American Art sale is – better luck next time. (unless otherwise noted, all dollar amounts are the hammer price) Prior to the sale opening on December 11th, two lots were withdrawn, … More…

Sotheby’s, London – European & British Art
street scene with buldings

Sotheby’s, London – European & British Art

On December 9th, Sotheby’s offered up a selection of European & British works of art … the results will speak for themselves. (w/p = with the buyer’s premium) The top lot of the sale was a large oil painting by … More…

Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Day Sale
young boy painitng at an easle

Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Day Sale

At the end of last week, Christie’s New York presented an Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale, and I don’t think it went as well as they had hoped it would.  First of all, it was their 14th sale of … More…

Condition and Salability
man kneeling in prayer

Condition and Salability

We are always talking about the factors that need to be considered before buying a work of art.  One of the most important, at least to us, is a work’s condition.  In a recent article in The Art Newspaper, Anna … More…

How Much is Too Much – Christie’s Post-War & Contemporary Day Sale
colorful cupcakes

How Much is Too Much – Christie’s Post-War & Contemporary Day Sale

On Thursday, Christie’s hosted a marathon day sale of Post-War & Contemporary works, which featured nearly 300 lots… as we have been saying, the auction houses are throwing anything and everything that they can on the block with little regard … More…

Christie’s Hong Kong: Modern & Contemporary Art Evening Sale Shines
white flowers on a black background

Christie’s Hong Kong: Modern & Contemporary Art Evening Sale Shines

Starting in the wee hours in New York (so I was asleep when it took place), Christie’s Hong Kong offered up a selection of works that surely opened up people’s eyes.  When I initially went to their website, I noticed … More…

Lots More Contemporary Art, No Thanks Sotheby’s
Barkley Hendricks Jackie Sha-La-La

Lots More Contemporary Art, No Thanks Sotheby’s

Last week Sotheby’s hosted a 2-part Contemporary Day Sale, one in-person and one online, with more than 230 works in total on the block… it seems they kicked over the lesser lots into the online session, while keeping more mid-level … More…

Holiday Puppets Make History
Santa Claus and Rudolph the red nosed reindeer standing on snow with presents

Holiday Puppets Make History

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving, and with that we have officially entered the holiday season! And so begins the onslaught of holiday television specials… One of those specials has aired yearly since December 1964 as part of NBC’s General … More…

Impressionist & Modern Day Sale – Sotheby’s NY
landscape with clouds

Impressionist & Modern Day Sale – Sotheby’s NY

There does not seem to be an end to the number of works auction rooms are throwing into the market.  With all the sales that took place last month, one would assume that there would be a bit of a … More…

The Orientalists Take A Hit – Christie’s London
man taking a nap

The Orientalists Take A Hit – Christie’s London

On the 18th of November, Christie’s presented a mixed bag of Orientalist works, and the results will have hopefully taught them a lesson. The lesson – slow down on the number of works you are throwing into the market! (w/p … More…

Frans Hals Case Might Be Over
Fake Frans Hals

Frans Hals Case Might Be Over

This morning, The Art Newspaper reported that the London Court of Appeals upheld an earlier decision that Fairlight Art Ventures has to pay Sotheby’s $5.37M, plus interest and legal fees, for the allegedly fake Hals painting. Hopefully, this will put … More…

Frans Hals Matter Back In Court
Fake Frans Hals

Frans Hals Matter Back In Court

The saga of a fake Frans Hals painting, which Sotheby’s sold privately for $10.8M, was thought the be over last year; however, one of the “consignors” has decided to challenge a London High Court’s ruling. Last December, the court ruled … More…

Restitution Of €20M Painting – Will It Happen?
landsacpe with a person and houses

Restitution Of €20M Painting – Will It Happen?

Over the years, we have seen more and more of these stories … works stolen by the Nazis were sold at bargain prices, and now the heirs want them back.  Many end in favor of the heirs, but sometimes it … More…

The ‘Potato Head’ Of Palencia
Before and After via Antonio Guzman Capel's Facebook post

The ‘Potato Head’ Of Palencia

Usually, when you hire someone to do a job, the first thing you should consider is how well they can do said job… I say “usually” because that was clearly not the case in this instance. A statue, which sits … More…

Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation
Record Album

Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation

My Generation, the album by The Who, had an impressive performance when it sold at a recent auction. The Who formed in London in 1964… since then, there have been name changes and band member changes, but over the decades, … More…

More Hot Water For Sotheby’s
front entrance to sotheby's

More Hot Water For Sotheby’s

Last week, the New York Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Sotheby’s alleging that the auction room violated the New York False Claims Act by helping a major client (Porsal Equities, Ltd.) create, and then use, false resale certificates to … More…

Worth More Than Its Weight In Gold
gold coin

Worth More Than Its Weight In Gold

A really rare ancient gold coin just made history when it sold for far more than its ”weight in gold” (it was only about the size of a United States nickel).  The coin commemorates the assassination of Julius Caesar as … More…

Sam Orlofsky Fired From Gagosian
Tales from the dark side

Sam Orlofsky Fired From Gagosian

According to recent articles in ARTnews & The Art Newspaper (links below), after an investigation brought about by “claims from current and former employees that a colleague engaged in serious misconduct, primarily targeted against women in the Gallery,” Sam Orlofsky, … More…

MET Reviewing Sackler Wing’s Name After Purdue Pleads Guilty
OxyContin Jar

MET Reviewing Sackler Wing’s Name After Purdue Pleads Guilty

Major institutions are showing their support in the fight against the Opioid Crisis after Purdue Pharma pled guilty to criminal charges over their marketing strategy of OxyContin, a highly addictive painkiller, and agreed to a settlement of $8.3 billion, $225 … More…

To Buy, Or Not To Buy?
shakespeare's first folio, a collection of writings by shakespeare in book form

To Buy, Or Not To Buy?

To buy, or not to buy, that was the question:  whether or not to part with a few sweet dollars to purchase a rare, complete set of William Shakespeare’s First Folio.  The book was published in 1623 by Shakespeare’s friends … More…

Opacity In The Auction Market Gets Greater and Greater
Alfa Romeo

Opacity In The Auction Market Gets Greater and Greater

The first part of the October 28th evening sales at Sotheby’s featured their Contemporary offerings, plus a piece of furniture and three Alfa Romeos!  Now you, like me, might think this makes no sense, but for the auction rooms, it … More…

Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern
thin figure in bronze

Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern

On October 28, Sotheby’s presented two sales, a Contemporary one followed by the Impressionist & Modern (which we will cover here).  By the time the sale began, four works had disappeared, so the featured 36 lots.  This review will also … More…

Seeking Clarity – Contemporary Curated at Sotheby’s
KENNETH NOLAND - EMBER

Seeking Clarity – Contemporary Curated at Sotheby’s

It is getting to the point where auctions go out of their way to add a layer of opacity to the results, seemingly in an effort to make it more difficult to analyze their sales… I assume the underlying reason … More…

Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Day Sale
abstract painting

Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Day Sale

Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Day Sale was a full-day event for me as I began watching it at 10:00 AM, and there were still six lots to go when I left the gallery at 5:35 PM. Unfortunately, there was really … More…