The 20th-century art evening sale at Sotheby’s New York brought a revenue of $224 million, a modest but subdued total.
On Monday, Sotheby’s presented a lot of 31 works for the auction block. Collectively, these products were sold for a hammer price of $190 million ($10 million less than their pre-sale estimate). With fees, the figure rested at $224 million. About half of the works were backed by guarantees; however, eight lots were withdrawn from the auction.
Despite the subdues numbers, the modern art evening sale was studded by some big names. One of the high performers of the auction was Claude Monet’s Le Moulin de Limetz (1888) which fetched $21.5 million ($25.6 million with fees) – quite higher than its $18 million pre-sale estimate. Au-dessus de la ville (1924) by Mark Chagall hammered at $13.3 million, decently above its low estimate of $12 million. Balthasar Klossowski de Rola’s La Patience (1948) similarly fetched $14.7 million – closer to the low end of its $12 million – $18 million pre-sale estimate.
While the evening sale couldn’t be called a disappointment by any measure, it also failed to generate headlines. This falls in line with the trend of other recent fall auctions in New York. The sale of Emily Fisher Ladau’s collection at Sotheby’s New York brought in a total of $406 million, while another modern art sale at Christie’s fetched $640 million. While some market experts have been calling it a market slump, others are more optimistic and see it as a sign of a stable market.