Tonight in a packed saleroom, Sothebys
Impressionist & Modern Evening Sale brought a total of £78,893,650 / $125,504,018 /94,491,096 (est. £79 113.3 million). The top price of the sale was achieved for Claude Monets previously unseen painting of 1885 LEntreé de Giverny en Hiver, which sold in a four-way bidding battle to a buyer in the room for £8,217,250 / $13, 072,001 / 9,841,818 (est. £4.5-6.5 million) an auction record for a snowscape by the artist. The sale saw a high average lot value for the works sold of £1,922,870, and was 76.9% sold by lot and 76% sold by value.
Commenting on the sale, Helena Newman, Chairman, Sothebys Impressionist and Modern Art, Europe, commented: Tonight we saw global bidding across the sale, with avid collectors competing for museumquality and rare works. There was strong competition for exceptional paintings, notably for Claude Monet, Ernest Ludwig Kirchner and Georges Braque. As we have seen in our recent international auctions, we continued to see the enduring appeal of works that are fresh to the market and are of exceptional quality.
Other notable prices this evening
As was announced during the auction, Gustav Klimts rare 1901 landscape Seeufer mit Birken which had not been seen in public in over a century sold post-sale for £5,641,250 $8,974,100 / 6,756,525.
Ernest Ludwig Kirchners monumental Das Boskett: Albertplatz in Dresden of 1911 fetched £7,321,250/$11,646,644/8,768,677 (est. £5 7 million). The work is one of the artists last canvases to depict the topography of Dresden - a recurrent theme in his oeuvre and the city where he came of age as an artist and as a man.
Georges Braques LOliveraie of 1907 sold for £5,081,250/ $ 8,083,252 / 6,085,824 (est. £2 3 million). The work provides a rare glimpse into the Fauve revolution at the beginning of the 20th century and Braques seminal contribution to the movement.
Selling for almost three times its high estimate, Otto Dixs Die Elektrische (The Electric Tram) sold for £2,953,250/$4,698,030/3,537,114 (est. £700,000-1,000,000).
Fernand Légers La Jeune fille à l'échelle, one of the artists definitive compositions of the 1940s, sold for £3,961,250 / $6,301,556/ 4,744,398 against a pre-sale estimate of £3.8 4.5 million.
Edouard Vuillards 1890 masterwork, Les Couturières fetched £3,401,250/ $5,410,708/4,073,685 (presale est. £3 - 5 million).
One of Henry Moores most important monumental sculptures Reclining Figure no. 2, Three-Piece Bridge-Prop sold for £3,289,250 / $5,232,539 / 3,939,542. Estimated at £1.5 - 2.5 million, the work was conceived in 1963 and cast in an edition of six. It is one of his most technically sophisticated and complex iterations on his dominant theme the reclining figure.
The auction saw strong prices achieved for Surrealist works in the sale
A group of 14 surrealist works were offered, achieving a combined total of £16,083,000, representing an average sold lot value of £1,340,250. Highlights among this group include:
Giorgio de Chirico's monumental and boldly coloured Ettore e Andromaca of 1925-30, regarded as one of his most successful metaphysical compositions, was sold for £2,841,250/ $4,519,860 / 3,402,971, against an estimate of £2.8 4 million).
Yves Tanguys 1941 oil on canvas Deux fois du noir sold for £2,505,250/ $3,000,543/3,985,352 (est. £2 -3 million) exemplifies the refined and personal language with which Tanguy transformed the boundaries of Modernist painting.
Max Ernsts 1941 oil on canvas La Comédie de la soif, a masterpiece of the artists wartime oeuvre, was sold for £1,609,250 / $2,559,995 / 1,927,402 (est. £1.2 - 1.8 million).
René Magrittes Souvenir de Voyage of 1962-63 sold for £1,609,250 / $2,559,995 1,927,402 against a pre-sale estimate of £1.5 - 2 million.
The sale featured a strong offering of works by German artists, including the above mentioned Ernest Ludwig Kirchner painting Das Boskett: Albertplatz in Dresden of 1911; Emil Noldes 1908 Blumengarten, ohne Figur, which sold for £2,057,250/$3,272,67/ 2,463,973 (est. £2 3 million); and Alexej von Jawlenskys 1911 Mädchen mit Roter Schleife, which sold for £ 3,065,250/$ 4,876,200/ 3,671,257 (est. £3-5 million).
Sold by lot: 76.9%
Sold by value: 76%
Of the 53 lots offered, 41 sold
Average lot value: £1,922,870
25 lots sold for over £1 million, 34 sold for over $1 million