Yesterdays Modern & Post-War British Art Day Sale brought the combined total (Evening and Day sales) this season to £7,698,500 (est.£7,797,500-11,447,500). A record price was achieved for Henri Gaudier-Brzeska with one of the finest works on paper by the artist ever to come to auction, Homme et Cheval, commanding £254,500 (est. £80,000-120,000), and a further record for Gwen John, with The Convalescent, fetching the above-high-estimate sum of £200,500 (est. £60,000-80,000). The Sales were further highlighted by the largest painting by Ben Nicholson ever to come to auction -Oct 61 (Mycenae-axe-blue), a remarkable work of monumental scale - which fetched £1,082,500 (est. £1-1.5 million).
Frances Christie, Head of Sothebys
Modern & Post-War British Art Department, said: It has been extremely exciting to see British art achieve such prominence in the public eye once again, and this was demonstrated in our Evening and Day sales of Modern & Post-War British Art. We saw some exceptional prices and attracted a significant level of new buyers -25% of buyers in our Evening sale were new to this collecting category - demonstrating the growing interest in these artists and the strength of the sales offerings.
The Appeal of Modern British Masters to Collectors Established in Other Categories:
88% of buyers in Sotheby's Modern & Post-War British Art Evening Sale had previously bought in another collecting category at Sotheby's. These 'crossover' collectors who were active in last nights sale had bought significantly this summer auction season in Sothebys Contemporary Art, Impressionist & Modern Art and Old Master Paintings/Early British Art sales.
The Enduring Appeal of the Most Celebrated Modern British Artists this Summer Auction Season
Sothebys Impressionist & Modern Art, Contemporary and Modern & Post-War British Art Sales has seen exceptional prices achieved for the most celebrated Modern British artists, with over 69.6% of works by the following artists selling at or in many cases significantly above high estimate:
. Nine works by Henry Moore sold
. Five works by Barbara Hepworth sold
. Five works by Ben Nicholson sold
. Four works by Bridget Riley sold
Modern & Post-War British Art Sale Breakdown
Evening Sale total: £5,224,375 (est. £5,532,000 8,156,000)
Day Sale total: £2,474,125 (est. £2,265,500 3,291,500)