Lehman Sale at Sotheby's

As I write this post the Sotheby's NY sale of Lehman art is in just concluded. Kelly Crow writing for the Wall Street Journal wonders if there still is a Lehman's premium for their art as in past sales.  She notes that Sotheby's has not taken full advantage of the Lehman connection.

I hope to post results of the sale as soon as they are listed and we can see if the past premium prices for the collection remain, and perhaps judge overall interest in modern and contemporary art for the future fall sales.

Update: Sotheby's sales total was $12.3 million so that alone is close to the $14 million projection for Lehman sales being held at Sothebys, Freemans and Christies.  Earlier reports and estimates expected the Sotheby's sale to sell around $10 million, so without examining the results (buy-ins, top heavy etc), the sale looks to have been solid but from first glance at the numbers a strong sale yes, but a premium, probably not for this sale of Lehman art.

Crow reports

Is there still a Lehman premium? The final—and priciest—collection of artworks from the defunct Lehman Brothers will be auctioned off in a series of sales beginning Saturday at Sotheby's in New York and continuing at Christie's in London next Wednesday and Freeman's in Philadelphia Nov. 7. Overall, the sales could bring in a combined $14.2 million, which would be used to repay creditors.

Collectors and souvenir seekers went wild for the bank's corporate collection of lower-priced prints and paintings last fall during an initial sale at Freeman's, with a $1.3 million sales total that doubled the house's expectations.

But in a marketing turnabout, Sotheby's says it is downplaying the bank's connection to the 147 works it's auctioning Saturday. The pieces up for sale were actually amassed by Neuberger Berman, an investment firm that started a corporate art collection long before the firm was bought by Lehman in 2003. Sotheby's is betting it can attract more bidders by emphasizing the tastes of the smaller firm's co-founder Roy Neuberger, a 107-year-old collector who created the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, N.Y.

To read the complete article in the WSJ, click HERE.

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