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Pablo Picasso's ceramic works from a private collection defy estimates at Sotheby's London
Pablo Picasso, Vase Azteque aux quatre visages. Estimate: 18,000-30,000. Sold for 92,500 (139,620). Photo: Sotheby's.

LONDON.- Today, Sotheby’s London conducted two sales: Important Ceramics by Pablo Picasso From A Private Collection (including Modern and Contemporary Prints) and Old Master, Modern and Contemporary Prints.

Important Ceramics by Pablo Picasso From A Private Collection (including Modern and Contemporary Prints)
Sotheby’s London witnessed a sell-out auction, as all 100 important ceramics by Pablo Picasso sold as bidders competed fiercely for the prized works. While 94% of the ceramics sold above their high estimate, this important collection of playful plates, vases, jugs, bowls and tiles by the Spanish artist achieved a total of £1,455,750 ($2,197,309). They were just part of a wider private collection of ceramics and prints auctioned this afternoon, which together achieved £2,075,125 ($3,132,194), double the pre-sale estimate (£972,100-£1,389,600 / $1.47-2.1 million). The star lot of the sale was Picasso’s Vase gros oiseau vert which sold for £104,500 ($157,732), nearly three times above its high estimate. The sale was 98.7% sold by lot and 90.3% sold by value.

Old Master, Modern and Contemporary Prints
The success of this afternoon’s single-owner sale followed hot on the heels of a similarly buoyant auction this morning when Sotheby’s offering of Old Master, Modern & Contemporary Prints brought a total of £4,613,000 ($6,962,862), far exceeding the pre-sale low estimate (£3.2-4.65 million / $4.87-7 million). The top lot was Edvard Munch’s Two Human Beings. The Lonely Ones, a rare woodcut from 1899, which sold for £986,500 ($1,489,023), a record for the subject by the artist, and almost four times above the low estimate (£250/300,000). The second highest price achieved was for a complete set of 10 screenprints by Andy Warhol of the Endangered Species series: the sum of £386,500 ($583,383) established a record for a complete set of this subject by the artist at auction. Rembrandt led the Old Masters section with Christ Presented to the People and The Three Crosses, each selling for £218,500 ($329,804). 55.2% of works sold achieving prices above the high estimate. The sale was 75.3% sold by lot and 88.6% sold by value.

Séverine Nackers, Sotheby’s Head of Prints, Europe, said: “We are absolutely delighted with today’s results. The market for the finest prints is particularly strong, with high-quality works depicting important subjects breaking records at today’s sale. This demand for stellar names and iconic subjects was demonstrated with the top two lots by Munch and Warhol. Picasso remains sought after and linocuts by the artist performed very well.

We were especially pleased to be able to offer the exemplary private collection of Picasso ceramics, which were hotly pursued by collectors from across the world attracted by the enticing estimates and opportunity to acquire a work of art by one of the twentieth century’s most famous artists. Each and every piece found a buyer today.”

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