Sotheby’s Live Streamed Cross-Category Evening Sale Realises £150million / $193million

Press Release
Bringing Flagship Live Summer Sales To Almost $1.1 Billion

At £22.3m / $28.7m Joan Miró’s Peinture Becomes

Most Valuable Work Sold At Auction In Europe This Season

Five Works Sell For Over $10 Million

Unprecedented times are often a catalyst for change, demanding resilience and reinvention. This is true for artists, it extends to organisations and markets, and has unequivocally shaped Sotheby’s 276-year history. This season, we have started to re-write the rule book of auctions – pioneering a new live-streamed auction format and an equally innovative cross-category sale concept, disrupting the established sales calendar along the way. Though it’s late in the season by traditional standards, it’s clear from tonight’s results that the market here in London and around the world has definitely not gone on holiday.
Oliver Barker, Sotheby’s Chairman, Europe and auctioneer for the evening
The time-honoured criteria of freshness, quality and rarity are a constant in our ever-changing world, and the at times ferocious determination of bidding tonight was testament to this. We were entrusted with a trove of great material that ticked all the boxes for serious collectors. This was nowhere more evident than with the Avant Garde private family collection, as every single lot, seldom seen for decades, found a new home tonight. The top lot of the evening – and indeed, the season – was the luminous Miró, which emerged at auction for the first time since 1966 and set a new high auction price for Europe’s spring summer sales this year.
Helena Newman, Sotheby’s Chairman, Europe, and Worldwide Head of Impressionist & Modern Art

LONDON – 28 JULY 2020: Tonight in London, Sotheby’s staged a first-of-its-kind cross-category Evening Sale, bringing together over 500 years of art history. The auction saw collectors out in force – some placing bids in real time via Sotheby’s specialists on live-streamed telephone banks around the world, while others bid online, and – in accordance with local government guidelines – a small number of clients bid in person at Sotheby’s New Bond Street.


· Sale realises £149.7m /$192.7m / €164.6m (pre-sale estimate: £108.2-155.5m / $139.3-200.1m / €119-171m)
· Bringing sale total for Sotheby’s Summer Season Flagship Live sales to almost $1.1bn
· Sale is 95% sold by lot
· Over 50% of lots sold achieve prices in excess of high estimate


· Sotheby’s new, interactive digital catalogue received 34,400 visits
· 47 countries across six continents participated tonight
· The sale was watched live by an audience of 150k people
· A live tour of the pre-sale exhibition with Andrew Graham-Dixon reached an audience of 183.5k


· 65% of works offered tonight had never previously appeared at auction
· 18 Avant-Garde treasures from largely unseen family collection all find new homes, together bringing £47.7 million / $61.3 million / €52.4 million – well above the pre-sale estimate of £27.3-40.1 million
· This follows a similarly enthusiastic reception for three major collections offered in Sotheby’s New York evening sale last month (that of The Ginny Williams Collection, Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson and The Vanguard Spirit)


· In its first auction appearance since 1966, JOAN MIRÓ’s 1927 Femme au chapeau rouge set the top price for any work sold at auction in Europe this season, selling for £22.3 million / $28.7 million / €24.5 million (est. £20-30 million) after an 11-minute bidding battle. Having once belonged to fellow artist and friend Alexander Calder, the painting had not been seen publicly in decades
· From a little-known family collection of Avant-Garde works, ALBERTO GIACOMETTI’s bronze Femme debout doubled its estimate, achieving £10.7 million / $13.7 million / €11.7 million (est. £4-6 million) in its auction debut
· REMBRANDT VAN RIJN’s 1632 Self-portrait of the artist sold for £14.5 million / $18.7 million / €16 million (est. £12-16 million) – a new auction high for a self-portrait by the artist [eclipsing the £6.9 million achieved here in 2003 for Self-portrait with shaded eyes]
· FERNAND LÉGER’s Nature Morte (1914), led the European Avant-Garde Collection, surpassing its high estimate to realise £12.2 million / $15.6 million / €13.4 million (est. £8-12 million)
· GERHARD RICHTER’s Wolken (Fenster) realised £10.4 million / $13.4 million / €11.5 million (est. £9-12 million) – a new benchmark price for a painting in the artist’s Cloud series
· Since 1 June, 17 works have sold at Sotheby’s for over $10 million


· Of extreme rarity, and the only representative work by PAOLO UCCELLO to appear at auction in living memory, Battle on the banks of a river saw bidding from specialists in every category represented, driving the final price to a record-breaking £2.4 million / $3.1 million / €2.7 million (est. £600,000-800,000)
· Six bidders pursued MARC CHAGALL’s La branche de gui or Le rêve to £1,935,000 / $2,489,958 / €2,127,151 (est. £700,000-900,000) in its auction debut
· Over the course of a seven-minute bidding battle, five bidders pushed the final price for DAME BARBARA HEPWORTH’s Orpheus (Maquette I) to £1.3 million / $1.6 million / €1.4 million – nearly four times its high estimate (est. 250,000-350,000)
· Bringing a strong start to tonight’s sale, five collectors battled it out for PABLO PICASSO’s Fumeur, pushing the final total to £325,000 / $418,210 / €357,273 – four times its pre-sale estimate of £80,000-120,000


· From the European Avant-Garde Collection, HENRI LAURENSLe Boxeur set a new world auction record for the artist, achieving £2.1 million / $2.6 million / €2.3 million (est. £250,000-350,000)
· The most significant work by CEDRIC MORRIS to be seen on the market, Cabbages, achieved £350,000 / $450,380 / €384,756 – more than doubling it high estimate to eclipse its previous auction record of £160,000 set in 2019
· One of BERNARDO BELLOTTO’s most striking compositions, the recently restituted masterpiece Dresden, A View of the Moat of the Zwinger, sold for £5.4 million / $7 million / €6 million, well beyond its £3-4 million estimate
· After a eleven-minute bidding battle, BANKSY’s Mediterranean sea view 2017
· Complementary Online Day Sales of Old Masters, Impressionist & Modern Art, Modern & Post-War British and Contemporary Art continue this week
· For reference: Sotheby’s worldwide 2020 online sales total to date is £256.7 million

PRESS OFFICE | +44 20 7293 6000

Mitzi Mina |
Alicia Stockley |

About Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s has been uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744. Sotheby’s became the first international auction house when it expanded from London to New York (1955), the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong (1973), India (1992) and France (2001), and the first international fine art auction house in China (2012). Today, Sotheby’s has a global network of 80 offices in 40 countries and presents auctions in 10 different salesrooms, including New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris. Sotheby’s offers collectors the resources of Sotheby’s Financial Services, the world’s only full-service art financing company, as well as Advisory services for collectors, museums, corporations, artists, estates and foundations. Sotheby’s presents private sale opportunities in more than 70 categories, including three retail businesses: Sotheby’s Wine, Sotheby’s Diamonds, and Sotheby’s Home, the online marketplace for interior design.

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* Estimates do not include buyer's premium or overhead premium. Prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer's premium and overhead premium and are net of any fees paid to the purchaser where the purchaser provided an irrevocable bid.

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