Phillips de Pury didn't match Sotheby's and Christie's in terms of above-estimate totals and older works, but that really is the norm. So, I wouldn't view the fact that it only hit the middle of its presale estimate pessimistically. Given what was sold earlier in the week at the larger houses, the Phillips sale does nothing but confirm the direction of the art market.
Established artists did continue to rise aove the fray, with Judd's 1987 sculpture, "Untitled (87-29 Studer)," selling for £735,650. Basquiat's "Cash Crop" landscape and collage "Untitled" were the second best sellers behind Judd's work at £713,520 each. All beat their low-end estimates of £600,000.
There was a concern that Phillips would struggle to attract buyers, particularly because the auction was focused on living artists. While the challenge may not have been evident from the fact that 86 percent of the lots sold, it was confirmed by the tendency of them to move at the low end of the presale range.