NEW YORK – Wednesday's Impressionist & Modern Art Evening sale totalled $290 million, well above its low estimate of $212.9 million. It was Sotheby's fourth consecutive Impressionist & Modern Art evening sale with a sell-through rate of more than 80 percent.
The sale represents the second-highest Impressionist & Modern Evening sale total for Sotheby’s, bested only to the May 2012 auction that offered Edvard Munch’s The Scream. 94.2 percent of sold works brought prices at or above their estimates.
The sale attracted considerable global participation, with consignments from 13 countries and bidders from 36, representing established and emerging markets, with strong activity from Asia and Latin America.
Below, key highlights.
Alberto Giacometti, Grand tête mince.
Grand tête mince, sculptor Alberto Giacometti's bust of his artist brother Diego, was the top lot, selling for $50,005,000, meeting its high estimate. Never before offered at auction, the sculpture has remained in the same private collection since 1980.
Pablo Picasso, Tête de Femme.
Works by Pablo Picasso brought exceptional prices throughout the night, led by Tête de femme, his 1935 portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter that fetched $39,925,000 – well in excess of its $30 million high estimate. Mousquetaire à la pipe set a new auction record for a late work by the artist, achieving $30,965,000, soaring above its $18 million high estimate.
Pablo Picasso, Mousquetaire à la pipe.
Italian Futurist Giacomo Balla’s Automobile in corsa sold for $11,477,000 (estimate $12 to 18 million), a new auction record for the artist, and led the collection Futur! Masterworks of the Avant-Garde to a total of $64.3 million. The Futur collection, formed by the legendary Alain Tarica during the late 1960s and early 1970s, saw new auction records for four artists, including the record for Francis Picabia set twice.
Giacomo Balla’s Automobile in corsa.
Claude Monet’s Glaçons, effet blanc led the strong prices for Impressionist works, bringing in $16,125,000, above a high estimate of $14 million. Additionally, the Zieseniss Collection totalled $18,316,000, with all lots sold, including a new auction record for Gustave Courbet at $3,749,000.
Claude Monet’s Glaçons, effet blanc.