All eyes were on London last week as the city witnessed an unprecedented series of auctions led by Sotheby’s and Christie’s. Sotheby’s two-days of Impressionist, Modern & Surrealist Art sales, brought a total of £215.8 million, the highest achieved for any sale series ever held anywhere in London. This record total represents an almost five-fold growth on sales held just five years ago, driven by the highest level of participation and with the greatest geographical reach ever experienced.
Records tumbled in both the Evening and Day Sales as new benchmarks were achieved for numerous artists including: Camille Pissarro, Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, Pierre Bonnard and Georges de Chirico, among others. Buyers in both sales included noted American and British institutions including the J. Paul Getty Museum in California. Additional highlights of the auctions included the historic ‘white-glove’ status achieved by The Private Collection of Jan Krugier, with every single work sold, driving the total to more than double pre-sale expectations.
A painting by the French impressionist Camille Pissarro has sold at Sothebys for £19.9 million. This is five times the previous record for a work by the artist.
Boulevard Montmartre, Matinee De Printemps was “one of the greatest impressionist works to come to auction in a decade” Sotheby’s stated in London.
The painting was once owned by a prominent German Jewish art collector who was forced to sell the masterpiece by the Nazis. It was estimated to fetch £7-10 million, but came in at double the high estimate. The work has never previously been offered at auction. The former record for a work by Pissarro was for Le Pont Boieldieu Et La Gare D’Orleans Rouen, Soleil which sold for £4.3 million in 2009. Four panels by Pissarro entitled Les Quatre Saisons reached £8.96 million in 2007.
Impressionist, Modern & Surrealist Sales Total £215.8 million / $345.3 million Far-Exceeding Expectations (est. £118 – £168.8 million)
Stunning Sell-Through Rate of Over 85% Across Two-Days of Sales American and British Institutions Acquire Works from The Private Collection of Jan Krugier Collection 100% Sold and Totals £74.9 million /$122.1 million More than Double the High Estimate
New Auction Records Set for Works on Paper by: Picasso, Giacometti, de Chirico, BonnardSeries Led by £19.7 Million Record Sale of Pissarro Masterpiece Impressionist & Modern Day Sale Brings £52.3 million / $85.4 million Highest Total for Any Day Sale Ever Held at Sotheby’s Worldwide