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Sotheby's Summer Sales of Impressionist & Modern Art in London Total $194 million
Employees pose with Henri Matisse's 1928 painting "Odalisques jouant aux dames" at Sotheby's. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor.

LONDON.- Sotheby’s two-day sales series of Impressionist & Modern Art in London this week realised a combined total of £131,186,300 / $193,602,387 / €157,601,625 – an increase of 185% on the same series last year. The sum achieved brings the total for Impressionist & Modern Art sold by Sotheby’s London so far in 2010 to an unprecedented £295 million1 – the highest such total in Sotheby’s London history.

For the second time in Sotheby’s London sales this year, three works sold for more than £10 million:

• Edouard Manet’s museum-quality masterpiece Self Portrait with a Palette sold for £22,441,250 ($33,087,379 / €26,907,089), setting a new auction record for the artist;

• André Derain’s Arbres à Collioure, from the Vollard trove2, made £16,281,250 ($24,005,075/€19,521,241), double the previous record for the artist and a record for any Fauve painting at auction;

• Henri Matisse’s Odalisques jouant aux dames brought £11,801,250 /$17,399,763 / €14,149,715.

Commenting on the sales, Melanie Clore, Co-Chairman of Impressionist & Modern Art, Sotheby’s Worldwide, said: “Compared with this time last year, we have seen a dramatic increase in activity: £131 million this week versus £43.8 million in June 09. To sell three works for over £10 million – for the second time in our sales in London in the last six months - is testimony not only to the continued vitality of the Impressionist and Modern Art market but also to the pivotal role that London plays within the international auction market.”

Further strong prices:

• Completely fresh to the auction market, Henri Matisse’s Odalisques jouant aux dames, of 1928, sold for £11,801,250 ($17,399,763 / €14,149,715).

• Painted circa 1927-28, Chaïm Soutine’s powerful and expressive Le Valet de chambre - one of a number of portraits of anonymous sitters in uniform which rank among the most powerful in Soutine’s oeuvre - made £7,881,250 / $11,620,250.

• Pierre Bonnard’s, Le Petit Déjeuner, Radiateur, executed in Le Cannet, in the South of France, circa 1930, made £6,201,250 against an estimate of £2.5-3.5 million.

• A second work by Edouard Manet, Bouquet de pivoines, sold for a record £7,657,250 / $11,289,849 / €9,181,053 against an estimate of £4-6 million. When this same painting sold at auction 20 years ago for $4.4 million, it established a record for a still-life painting by Manet which had remained unchallenged until this week.

• Drawings also performed exceptionally well:

Henri Matisse’s stunning Étude pour ‘nu rose’ brought a price of £5,865,250 / $8,647,725 / €7,032,442 – almost double the previous record for a drawing by the artist.

Three drawings of Dora Maar by Pablo Picasso made a total of £2,923,750 / $4,310,777 against a pre-sale estimate of £1,150,000-1,650,000.

Other notes:

• This week’s total represents an increase of 185% on the same series last year: £131million total this year, versus £46 million total in June 09. The evening sale total this June was 235% higher than in June 09 (£112.1 million this year, versus £33.5 million last year). The day sale total this June was 52% higher than in June 09 (£19 million this year versus £12.5 million in June 09)

• In both the evening and the day sale, 54% of the lots sold achieved prices in excess of their high estimate

• Average lot value for the evening sale was £3.2 million – more than double the average lot value in June 09 (£1.4 million), and second highest average lot value for any Sotheby’s London sale.

• Buyers from 13 countries were active in the evening sale; buyers from 25 countries were active in the day sale

• Artist records for Edouard Manet, André Derain, Lovis Corinth and Pierre Bonnard

• Records by medium for works by Edvard Munch, Henri Matisse and Beckmann

Sotheby's | Impressionist & Modern Art | Melanie Clore |

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