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Destination London: Record sales distinguish capital as key art market hub
In this file picture taken on June 18, 2014, A Sotheby's employee poses with a painting by late French impressionist painter Claude Monet, entitled 'Nympheas' which was sold at an auction in London on Monday, June 23, 2014 for 31,700,000 pounds (54,000,000 dollars or 39,700,000 Euros), the second-highest sum paid for his work on record. The 1906 painting "Nympheas" formed part of a seminal exhibition held at the Galerie Durand-Ruel, in Paris, in 1909 to unveil Monet's Water Lily works. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW COWIE.

LONDON.- Records tumbled this season in the highest-grossing flagship summer auctions that Sotheby’s London has ever seen. Together, sales in the four key categories of Old Masters, Impressionist & Modern, Contemporary Art and ‘Treasures’ totalled a record £360 million - with top estimates repeatedly smashed and record numbers of participants engaging in the sales.

The strong results were fuelled by a burgeoning interest from collectors from the new markets - many of whom are making their presence ever more strongly felt in Sotheby’s London salerooms, their interest constantly expanding into an ever broader range of fields.

The excitement in Sotheby’s New Bond Street salesrooms these last few weeks confirms London as a key centre for the international art market. A record 1,800 participants from 72 countries were active in this season’s sales, and with first-time bidders coming from new fewer than 30 different countries.

Mark Cornell, Managing Director, Sotheby’s Europe, said: “The record successes we have enjoyed in London this summer are the fruit of the combination of old rules and new players. Old rules still apply: quality, rarity, provenance and correct estimates are key, and new players care just as much about those criteria as established collectors. It is the confluence of rich offerings and ever-more global demand that has proved so powerful this season, and that will continue to power the market forward.”


• Quality material at the right estimates consistently outperforms:

• Over 50% of the material sold this season came from eminent private collections

• A record level of lots sold over their high estimates – over 50%

• A record number of bidders from New Markets

• Asian collectors competed for the top lots in each of our evening sales: Monet’s Nymphéas, Bacon’s Three Studies for Portrait of George Dyer, and Stubbs’s Tygers at Play

• First-time bidders came from 30 different countries 

• Over 25% of bidders were either new to Sotheby’s or transacting in a new category

• A record level of bidding across the summer sales season

• A record 1,791 participants, coming from 72 countries


• Highest ever total for an Old Master & British Paintings Evening Sale at Sotheby’s London: £68.3 million ($117.1 million)

• Highest ever total for a Decorative Arts sale at Sotheby’s London: ‘Treasures’ sale totals £23.6million ($40.4million) 

Sotheby’s achieves the two top price across London auctions this season:

• Highest price: Claude Monet, Nymphéas (1906) sold for £31,722,500 ($54,071,001) (also the highest global price for Impressionist & Modern Art in two years)

• Second highest price: Francis Bacon, Three Studies for Portrait of George Dyer (1964) sold for £26,682,500 ($45,400,274) (also the highest ever price for a work of Contemporary art sold at Sotheby’s London)

• A record 67 lots sold for over £1million

Today's News

July 16, 2014

New feathered predatory fossil, unearthed in China, sheds light on dinosaur flight

Exhibition at Thyssen Bornemisza Museum presents an analysis of the concept of the 'unfinished'

Group show at Blain/Southern in London explores ideas of the void and emptiness

Sotheby's to offer dinosaurs, woolly rhinoceros and marine reptile in Paris on September 30

Snowdon gives 130 of his most iconic photographs from his archive to National Portrait Gallery

The Academy announces major gifts from Dolby Laboratories and the Dolby family

Museum of Modern Art appoints Martino Stierli as Chief Curator of Architecture and Design

Christie's London announces Second Annual Out of the Ordinary Sale to be held on 3 September

Destination London: Record sales distinguish capital as key art market hub

The Phillips Collection in Washington introduces a uCurate app for curating on-the-go

Japanese businessman Yuzo Yagi thanks Italy with $2.7 million Roman pyramid

Call for Participation: Daniel Canogar looks for particpants for project in Times Square

Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art acquires Benvenuto Tisi Nativity painting

Forty Over 40 honors Guggenheim Museum's Chief Curator Nancy Spector

Notable galleries to offer important works at Art Southampton this month

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts acquires major Taos School painting

Tsang Kin-Wah selected as Hong Kong's submission for the 56th Venice Biennale

Project EATS to run a farm stand in front of Brooklyn Museum Thursdays

An important painting by Pop-artist Sam Walsh donated to the nation under the Cultural Gifts Scheme

Berry Campbell opens exhibition of paintings by Eric Dever and Jodie Manasevit

NEA selects Wendy Clark as Director of Museums, Visual Arts, and Indemnity

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Boy and an amateur archaeologist unearth legendary Danish king's trove in Germany

2.- Exhibition at The Met illustrates what visitors encountered at The palace of Versailles

3.- Philadelphia Museum of Art opens "Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950"

4.- Exhibition at Michael Hoppen Gallery presents a cross-section of works from Thomas Mailaender's career

5.- New York's Chelsea Hotel celebrity door auction raises $400,000

6.- Stevie Ray Vaughan's first guitar drives Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction to nearly $2.9 million

7.- Lichtenstein's Nude with Blue Hair tops $2.4 million sale of Modern & Contemporary Prints & Multiples

8.- $6.7 million Fancy Intense Blue Diamond sets auction record at Sotheby's New York

9.- Mexico court blocks sales of controversial Frida Kahlo Barbie doll

10.- Dutch museums to conduct new research on the paintings of Pieter de Hooch

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