Christie’s and Sotheby’s held dueling LIVE auctions on November 21, 2017. Christie’s American sale offered 93 lots resulting in $34,131,500 total sales, nearly 7x the total sales of Sotheby’s which featured less than 67 lots because the Berkshire Museum lots were pulled from the sale. Sotheby’s* failed to sell more than 1/2 of the first 45 lots. I’ll update after the sales have ended. *Sotheby’s sale is now closed. The auction house sold just 34 of 67 lots, total sales (including Buyer’s Premium) were $5,858,250. Christie’s sold 72 of 91 lots today.
It turns out that the James Prendergast Library deaccession (see prior GMG post) would have made more money and kept the art in Jamestown if they had not brought the art to market at Sotheby’s. Here are the three of nine paintings to find collectors; two went under estimate.
One of Sotheby’s best lots today was a Dame Laura Knight which sold for $560,000, right within its estimate range.
Hammer prices unless otherwise indicated:
Christie’s Lot 15 Norman Rockwell What Makes it Tick, a 1948 oil on canvas, sold for 6.2million (just above its pre sale high estimate, 4 million to 6 million) which came to $7,287,500 after buyer’s premiums were factored. Rockwell’s Returning from Camp fetched 1.9 million. A Winslow Homer Tynemouth watercolor fetched a hammer price of $170,000, above its presale estimate range of 100,000-150,000. The Martin Johnson Heade failed to sell; the Milton Avery self portrait went for $45,000 at the gavel drop; and the Paul Manship sculpture was unsold, bidding failing to climb past $240,000 (pre sale estimate was $300,000 to $500,000.)