Christie's Rakes In $32.7 Million, New Category Said To Be Successful
The latest London market art auction was good for $32.7 million last night, as Christie's International moved lots from its Old Masters & 19th Century art category. The works ranged from late 14th century to late 19th century, with this newly created broad category intended to push "crossover" buying (from different periods) among collectors. Christie's is already celebrating the effectiveness of this plain, even though sales continue to be well below 2008 levels.
Sixty-three lots came under the gavel at the Christie's auction, and the house did hit its low estimate of $25 million. Only 24 percent of the lots were not purchased. Last year at this time, the same auction generated close to $50 million on 48 lots. And, the July 2007 Christie's Old Masters auction was good for around $80 million on 91 paintings. The two top paintings this year sold for below their estimates.
Despite Christie's self-proclaimed success for the Old Masters & 19th Century Art category, dealers aren't sold on it. A few claimed that the later work detracted from the pieces created earlier in this broad period.
The next sale comes today, as Sotheby's moves 200 pieces that currently belong to Johnson & Johnson heiress Barbara Piasecka Johnson. The auction is expected to yield $9.2 million in sales.