Greek sale shrugged off any semblance of economic gloom to return a stunning £3.6m result and 17 new world records at its New Bond Street saleroom yesterday (19.5.09).
The sale gives Bonhams Greek Art Department market dominance in the UK, beating all other auction houses operating in the Greek Art Market.
Terpsichore Maria Agelopoulou, of Art Expertise, Bonhams Agents in Greece, said: We went into the sale knowing we would have a strong result because of the amount of pre-sale interest in Greece and the UK but even we were amazed of the ongoing strength of this sector. There is a real passion by Greeks for collecting Greek Art today.
Top result for the sale was lot 29, Dawn by Constanitinos Parthenis (1878-1967) which made £356,000. Second highest lot was 75, Studio with easel by Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika (1906-1994) which sold for £322,400 against a pre sale estimate of £100,000 to £150,000.
Following a very successful reception at The Athinais Multi Cultural centre in Athens attended by 1200 people, Bonhams 14th Greek sale was a resounding success. A full room and nearly 20 phone lines resulted in a selling rate of 90 % by value (83% by lots) and the most successful Greek sale in recent years.
The sale total of £3,627,520 (4.1m Euros) established Bonhams as the market leader in the Greek art market for 2009.
Once again the Greek market appears to defy the norm, with strength throughout, from the traditional 19th century works through to contemporary pieces. The number of collectors who registered for the sale would suggest that this market is by no means in the decline, in fact 59 of the 142 lots on offer sold above the high estimate and 57 sold within estimate.
A careful selection process for the catalogue, combined with a degree of caution with regard to the estimates, proved attractive to buyers who bid with confidence. 25% of those registered to bid were new clients, thus proving that this market continues to grow despite the current economic climate.
New World Records for Greek Art
There were 17 new world records, including a small landscape by Nikos Lytras which sold for £110,440 and £216,000 for the narrative painting by the French artist Pierre Bonirote. Bonirote was the first artist/professor who officially taught oil painting in Greece and was appointed by King Otto.
Other outstanding prices included £356,000 for Aurora by Constantinos Parthenis and £322,400 for the studio with easel by Nikos Hyadjikyriakos-Ghika.
A view of Pasalimani by Yiannis Tsarouchis went to a private collector for £198,000 and Asian Princess by Georgios Bouzianis found a buyer at £150,000, well above the high estimate.