Results: Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art Sale

On Tuesday evening Sotheby's held its Impressionist and Modern Art sale in NYC. The sale offered 50 lots,with a pre sale estimate of $147 million to $201.4 million and totaled $149,2 million hammer,  and $173.8 with buyer's commissions. So the sale totaled just above the low of the pre sale estimate. 37 lots sold, two were withdrawn, so the buy through rate was around 75% which is only fair. Keep in mind, Christie's on Monday night offered about the same number of lots, and brought in about $100 million over Sotheby's totals.

Given that the Christie's sale was very strong at the top, and rather average below, and now a rather average sale at Sotheby's perhaps there is a bit of cooling?

artnet news reports on the sale
Despite the last-minute withdrawal of an early Egon Schiele nude, Sotheby’s New York tallied $173.8 million on Tuesday evening at its auction of Impressionist and Modern art. Including 50 lots, the sale was estimated (minus the withdrawn lots) to come in between $147 million and $210.4 million without premium. The hammer total for Tuesday’s auction just edged past the low estimate to score $149.2 million, marginally beating the underwhelming $144 million total from the spring 2016 sale.

Dealers agreed that the withdrawn Schiele painting, created when the artist was just 19 and showing the mythical figure Danaë, didn’t sufficiently exemplify the Austrian artist’s style.

“It’s a very good painting for a Klimt, but it’s not good for a Schiele,” said Paris dealer Christian Ogier on his way out of the saleroom.

But if the house failed to drum up interest in the Schiele, the rest of the night was strong. Taking the lead was a Kazimir Malevich painting, Suprematist Composition With Plane In Projection (1915), that gave rise to a five-minute contest, finally hammering at $18.6 million to Grégoire Billault, head of contemporary art in New York, beating out North and South America chairman Lisa Dennison and Alina Davey, senior director of the private client group. Including premium, the painting sold for $21.1 million.
Source: artnet news

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