Wednesday, May 5, 2010

World Record Set At Auction

In yet another sign of improving economic conditions in the art market, history was made at Christie’s last night when a Picasso, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, coming from the collection of Mrs. Sidney F. Brody, sold for $106,482,500 (₤70,278,450 €81,991,525) to an anonymous bidder, setting a new world record for any work of art sold at auction. The Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale realized a total of $335,548,000 (£221,461,680/Є258,317,960), and also achieved world records for Braque and Rafaelli.

The Evening Sale portion of the Mrs. Sidney F. Brody Collection became the highest total for a single-owner sale offered at Christie's New York. The 27 lots from the Brody Collection achieved $224,177,500/£147,957,150/€172,616,675 and were 100% sold by lot and value. Overall, 30 lots sold above the $1 million mark and 9 lots sold above the $10 million mark. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Brody Collection will be donated the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, CA, where the late Mrs. Brody was a guiding patron.

The Various Owners portion of the sale yielded four more prices above the $10 million mark for works by Giacometti, Picasso, and Renoir, as well as a new world auction record for Raffaelli. The top lot of the section was a stunning 1947 sculpture of a human hand by Giacometti, La Main, which sold for $25,842,500 (₤35,166,450/€41,027,525). Two further works by Pablo Picasso also sold above expectations as Femme au chat assise dans un fauteuil, 1964, realized $18,002,500 (₤11,881,650/€13,861,925) and another work of the same year, Le peintre et son modèle, 1964, sold for $10,722,500 (₤7,076,850/€8,256,325).

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