Christie's Impressionist Sale Results
Last night was Christie's London's turn to try out the 2009 art market. Unlike the previous night when a Sotheby's auction brought in £32.6 million versus a low estimate of £40.6 million, the Christie's auction went over the low estimate. The Christie's Impressionist and modern art auction brought in £63.4 million against a revised low total forecast of 58.8 million pounds. The 47-lot auction of Impressionist and modern art included Monet's painting "Dans la Prairie" which had a single bid £11.2 million, it had an estimate of £15 million. In 1988, at the height of the last art-market boom, when Japanese bidders were bulk-buying classic Impressionist works, the painting sold at Sotheby's in London for 14.3 million pounds with fees. The painting had last appeared on the auction market in November 1999 at Sotheby's New York, where it sold for $15.4 million. As Bloomberg reports it was part of a set of four Impressionist-period pieces from the same collection which had been bought between May 1998 and May 2000. Another, a Henri Toulouse-Lautrec's 1895 oil-on-board picture of two girls lying on a bed in a brothel, "L'abandon (Les deux amies)," had a low estimate of £5 million and sold for £6.2 million. In 2000, it sold at Sotheby's New York for $9.4 million. The two other pieces from the collection up for auction, a Monet landscape and a Renoir painting, failed to sell. The auction was 60 percent lower than the £105.4 million pounds Christie's got at the February sale in London last year when 83 percent of the lots found buyers. The February results seems a bit brighter than November's tally when just 56 percent of the lots sold.