Greek sale in London today realized £3,925,175 (4,380,882). Four new auction records were established (for works by Spyros Vassiliou, Georgios Zongolopoulos, Constantin Xenakis, and Konstantino Byzantios), with almost 37% of the works sold achieving prices in excess of high estimate.
Constantine Frangos, Senior Director and Head of Greek Sales at Sothebys, said: Todays results demonstrate an enduring strength in the market. Top quality works sold very well, with collectors eager to bid on rare pictures that were reasonably estimated.
The top selling lot of the day was Nicholas Gysis "The Fortune Teller" (lot 13), which made £325,250 (202,818). Recently re-discovered in an American collection, this quintessential example of the artists work attracted strong competition, finally selling to an anonymous buyer bidder over the telephone.
Other works by Gysis also performed well, with "Girl Washing by a River" (lot 22) selling for £181,250 (181,250).
Also the focus of much competition today was Spyros Vassilious "Patisson Street, Athens". One of the most important works by the artist ever to appear at auction, this early testament to the artists lifelong love affair with Athens realized £199,250 (222,383), selling to a telephone bidder for a price well in excess of pre sale expectations (£80,000-120,000).
Two works by Nicos Hadjikiriakos Ghika performed well. His "The Captive" (Olive Trees) (lot 50) fetched £181,250 (202,293) and his "Three Tailors" made £79,250 (88,681). Other strong prices included that for Georgios Jakobides "Young boy" (lot 16), which achieved £181,250 (202,293).
The sale also included an important group of works by Yannis Spyropoulos. Of particular note in this group was "Logos B", an abstract work which realized £91,250 (101,844) against an estimate of £60,000-80,000. Alongside this, "Piraeus", a rare, early work from the 1940s, sold for £79,250 (50,000-70,000), against an estimate of £50,000-70,000.
Among the contemporary paintings in the sale Alecos Fassianos "The Embrace" soared above estimate, realizing £91,250 (101,844) some three times the pre sale estimate of £25,000- 35,000). Having remained in a private American collection for many years, this striking work appeared today for the first time ever on the open market. Sothebys sale today included no fewer than 12 works by the artist, 11 of which sold for a combined total of £389,625 (415,212).
From a slightly earlier period, Demetrios Galanis "Portrait of Fanny, the Artists Wife" handsomely exceeded expectations, selling for £79,250 (88,451). Other works from this period also performed well. Nikolaos Lytras "Pomegranates" (lot 56) made £37,250 (41,683), as did "Aegina" by Spyros Papaloukas (lot 23). Similarly, Konstantinos Maleas "Pine Trees in Raffina" (lot 24) made £49,250 (55,111).
Giorgos Bouzianis "Three Figures" (est. £80,000-120,000) and "Boy with Stick" (est. £80,000-120,000) both achieved strong prices: the former £97,250 (108,541) and the latter £103,250 (115,237).