News Articles Library Event Photos Contact Search

Displaying items by tag: Auctions

Wednesday, 29 January 2014 17:44

Christie’s Americana Sales Net Over $10 Million

Christie’s Americana Week auctions, which included the sales of Important American Silver on January 23, Important American Furniture, Folk Art and Prints on January 24, and Chinese Export Art on January 27, fetched a total of $10,189,025.

The Chinese Export Art sale realized $3,034,750 and the top lot was a rare set of four large Chinese export porcelain nodding head figures from the Qianlong Period, which sold for $173,000. The Important American Silver sale netted $1,737,875 and the top lot, a silver Brandywine bowl by Cornelius Vander Burch from the late 17th century, brought $317,000. The Important American Furniture, Folk Art & Decorative Arts sale was the biggest hit of the week and realized $5,416,400. The top lot was an 18th century Chippendale carved Mahogany scallop-top tea table from Philadelphia, which garnered $905,000. Andrew Holter, head of American Furniture and Decorative Arts at Christie’s, said, “Today’s solid results underscore collectors’ continued appetite for works of exceptional provenance and quality.”

Published in News

After a whirlwind of auctions last week in New York, which included a historic $495 million post-war sale at Christie’s, Phillips’ Contemporary Art Evening Sale on May 16, 2013 seemed quite subdued. The boutique auction house’s sale garnered $78.6 million and sold 81% by lot and 88% by value.

The highlight of the night was Andy Warhol’s (1928-1987) Pop Art masterpiece, Four Marilyns (1962), which sold for $38.2 million. The sale confirmed that Warhol remains a powerful presence in the art market. During the auction two other Warhol works were sold -- Flowers (1964), which brought $2.4 million and Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) (1967), which sold for upward of $2 million. Other major sales that night included Jean-Michel Basquiat’s (1960-1988) Untitled (1961), which garnered over $4 million and Roy Lichtenstein’s (1923-1997) Still Life (1972), which also sold for upward of $4 million.

Phillips has undergone a number of changes in the past year. Following the departure of Chairman Simon de Pury in December 2012, the company changed its name from Phillips de Pury & Co. to Phillips. In February 2013, the auction house revealed 10,000-square-feet of new gallery space at the company’s headquarters on Park Avenue in Manhattan. The expansion was an attempt to compete with the major auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s.

Published in News

Sotheby’s has announced that they will be opening a gallery for private sales close to its London outpost on Bond Street. The gallery will be ideal for big-name collectors who prefer to do business through unpublicized sales rather than in the public auction arena.

Private sales have seen an uptick in recent years and unpublicized transactions increased at Sotheby’s by 11% in 2012. These inconspicuous sales accounted for $906.5 million of the $5.4 billion Sotheby’s brought in from auctions the same year. Most of Sotheby’s private sales come from big-ticket modern and contemporary works, which are sold when a buyer visits a viewing room within the auction house. Details surrounding these transactions are often kept under wraps. These private sales are also beneficial for the auction house because publicity costs are nonexistent.

Sotheby’s new gallery is expected to open in London during the fall of 2013.

Published in News
Wednesday, 10 April 2013 18:29

Christie’s Takes on Mainland China

On Tuesday, April 9, 2013, Christie’s announced that they have been granted a license allowing them to hold independent auctions in Mainland China, making them the first international auction house to do so. The company’s inaugural sale will be held autumn 2013 in Shanghai. Christie’s has been building its relationship with China since 1994 when the auction house set up a representative office in Shanghai.

China’s art market continues to grow at a rapid pace, making it an ideal location for international auction houses. The sale of art and antiques in China garnered $13.7 billion in 2012, making it the second largest market in the world behind the United States. The country’s strong buyer base has been active in Christie’s global auction centers in New York, London, Hong Kong, and Paris. In fact, the number of clients from Mainland China bidding at Christie’s international auctions has doubled since 2008. Christie’s presence in Shanghai will allow the auction house to sell directly to China’s growing number of wealthy buyers.  

China’s auction market is currently dominated by the country’s own Beijing Poly International and China Guardian. Sotheby’s joined forces with the state-owned Beijing GeHua Cultural Development Group last year to hold auctions in China. Sotheby’s own 80% of its venture with Beijing Gehua.

Christie’s recently granted license, which is good for the next 30 years, allows the auction house to hold sales anywhere in China, but prohibits the company from selling anything created before 1949. Christie’s plans to sell wine, jewelry, watches, contemporary Chinese paintings, and international modern paintings starting this fall.

Published in News

Christie’s announced that they will be raising their buyer’s premium, a fee charged to buyers at auction, for the first time since 2008. The auction house had been charging 25 percent for the first $50,000 of a sale, 20 percent on the amount from $50,001 to $1 million, and 12 percent on the remaining price. The increase, which will go into effect on March 11, 2013, will bring the charges up to 25 percent for the first $75,000, 20 percent on the amount from $75,001 to $1.5 million, and 12 percent on the rest.

In recent years auction houses have started offering certain sellers a percentage of the buyer’s premiums, which can result in lower profits for the auction companies but ultimately brings in more business. Last month Christie’s announced that its sales for 2012 totaled $6.27 billion, a 10 percent increase from its 2011 sales. While no other auction houses have announced increases in buyer’s premium, it has been a trend among them in the past.

Published in News

Collective, the newest show on the design fair scene, will debut on May 8, 2013 and run through May 11 at Pier 57 in Manhattan. The fair will coincide with the highly anticipated second edition of Frieze New York as well as the various major spring auctions.

The founder and creative director of the fair is architect Steven Learner of the New York-based architecture and interior design firm, Steven Learner Studio. The 70,000 square foot space where the fair will be held was created by Learner and will host over 25 international galleries. The show will also include a series of special programs as well as formal displays.

Collective, which will focus on vintage and contemporary design, aims to cater to both the art and design communities.

Published in News
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 11:24

Christie’s Announces Americana Week 2013

Christie’s announced that Americana Week 2013 will be held from January 24-25 and on the 28th in New York. The week will include a series of public viewings and auctions focusing on American craftsmanship and artistry. An Important American Silver sale will be held on the 24th, an Important American Furniture, Folk Art, and Prints auction will take place on January 25th, and on the 28th, Christie’s will hold English Pottery and Chinese Export Art sales. The Americana Week auctions will present over 400 lots, many of which are from the 18th and 19th centuries and have never been offered at auction until now.

Highlights from the American Silver auction include a drum-form teapot by Paul Revere (1734-1818), a Japanesesque mixed-metal and hardstone style tea service by Tiffany & Co., and a set of silver casters by Simeon Soumaine (circa 1685-circa 1750) from 1740.

Leading the American Furniture, Folk Art, and Prints sale is a Chippendale carved mahogany block-and-shell bureau table signed by John Townsend (1733-1809). The bureau table will be offered alongside a Queen Anne carved maple armchair attributed to John Gaines III (1704-1743), an Edward Hicks (1780-1849) painting depicting William Penn’s treaty with Delaware tribal chiefs, a number of early needlework samplers from The Stonington Collection, and much more.

The English Pottery auction presents over 50 lots including early salt glazed stoneware, redware and creamware formed by William Burton Goodwin, and a London delft polychrome dish, which is painted with the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac.

Highlighting the Chinese Export Art sale are a Chinese export ‘orange Fitzhugh’ armorial dinner service from the early 19th century, a pair of Chinese export famille rose fishbowls, and a Chinese export ‘Lady Washington States China’ dish, which was presented to Martha Washington by Andreas van Braam (1739-1801), the director of the Dutch East India Company, in 1796. Van Braam designed the dish as an introductory gift for the First Lady.

Published in News
Thursday, 29 November 2012 18:26

New York Hosts Two Major American Art Auctions

The back-to-back American art auctions that took place at Christie’s and Sotheby’s this week both garnered impressive numbers. The auction at Christie’s on November 28 set the bar high when it reached $38,469,650 in sales. However, Sotheby’s followed up strong and achieved a total sale of $27,608,500, exceeding the high estimate of $24,158,000. Franklin Riehlman, owner of Franklin Riehlman Fine Art in New York City said, “Prices at Sotheby’s were nice and strong. Christie’s had a phenomenal sale and Liz Sterling has done a wonderful job reconstructing the department.” Elizabeth Sterling was appointed the head of American art at Christie’s earlier this year.

The top lot at Christie’s was Edward Hopper’s October on Cape Cod (1946), which went for $9.6 million and set a new record for the most expensive item sold to an online bidder. The oil painting, which features a house and small barn from a distance, is one of the last works by Hopper remaining in private hands. Other solid sales were Charles Burchfield’s Golden Dream (1959), which brought $1,202,500; Stuart Davis’ City Snow Scene (1911), which also reached $1,202,500; and Martin John Heade’s Hummingbird Perched on the Orchid Plant (1901), which brought $1,802,500.

Georgia O’Keeffe fared well at both auctions and took the top two lots at Sotheby’s; both plant paintings, Autumn Leaf II (1927) realized $4,282,500 and A White Camellia (1938) brought $3,218,500. “O’Keeffe did very well,” said Riehlman. “There was a lot of bidding.” An O’Keeffe painting titled Sun Water Maine (1922) also reached the second highest price at Christie’s when it realized $2,210,500, exceeding the high estimate of $1,500,000.

Norman Rockwell continued to perform well at Sotheby’s and two paintings exceeded their high estimates when The Muscleman (1941) sold for $2,210,500 (high estimate: $800,000) and Doctor and Doll (1942) reached $1,874,500 (high estimate: $700,000). Other impressive sales included Alfred Jacob Miller’s Caravan En Route [Sir William Drummond Stewart’s Caravan] (circa 1850), which went for $1,762,500 and Arthur Dove’s Town Scraper (circa 1933), which realized $1,258,500.

“The market for early modernists seems very strong,” said Riehlman. “Older works didn’t do as well. Cassatt and Prendergast are spotty, but 15 years ago every Cassatt would have sold.” Out of the one Mary Cassatt work offered at Sotheby’s and two present at Christie’s, not a single piece sold. Similarly, Maurice Prendergast’s one painting offered by Sotheby’s, Park Street Church, Boston (circa 1905-07), failed to sell and at Sotheby’s, Picnic Party (circa 1900-03) didn’t quite reach its low estimate of $300,000 when it sold for $290,500 and New Hampshire (circa 1910-13) just broke its low estimate of $40,000 when it realized $43,750.

“Both houses are being very selective in terms of traditional 18th and 19th century materials,” said Riehlman. Buyers are much more likely to make significant purchases when the majority of works are top-quality. Despite the declining interest in older works, there was a lot of action at both sales. Riehlman was planning on buying Marvin Cone’s Stone City Landscape (1936), which realized $752,500, a record for the artist. “It went like a freight train right by me,” he said, a testament to just how eager buyers were this week.  

Published in News

Christie’s kicked off their highly anticipated fall auctions with a lackluster Impressionist and Modern Art sale on Wednesday evening. While there were many outstanding circumstances (i.e., Hurricane Sandy, the presidential election, the Dow Jones’ drop) that may have contributed to the sale’s inability to reach its low estimate of $210 million, the auction garnered $204,800,000 but left 21 of its 69 lots unsold. Other factors that may have contributed to the uneven sale were too high estimates and an inconsistence in quality as it was the mid-level works that went without buyers.

The top sales were high with six works selling for over $10 million. Wassily Kandinsky’s early and rare Studie fur Improvisation 8 brought $23 million and a set a record for the artist at auction while just breaking its low estimate of $20 million. Claude Monet’s Nymphaes, a watercolor from his water lilies series, was the evening’s top lot at $43,762,500. Other top lots included Pablo Picasso’s Buste de Femme that sold for $13,074,500, Constantine Brancusi’s white plaster Une Muse that brought $12,402,500, and Joan Miro’s Peinture (Femme, Journal, Chien which fetched $13,746,500.

Sotheby’s sale begins today after three days of delays due to Hurricane Sandy.

Published in News

This past March, the highest court in Germany for civil affairs ordered that 4,300 pre-World War II posters looted by Nazis were to be returned to Peter Sachs, a retired airline pilot. Sachs is the son of Hans Sachs, a Jewish dentist who fled Germany in 1938 after being arrested by Nazis and sentenced to the Saschsenhausen concentration camp.

The poster collection, worth more than $5.8 million, was previously kept at The Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin. Sachs started his collection in the late 19th century at a young age and went on to publish a poster magazine called Das Plakat, found a society, and give lectures on the subject. Unique works by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Ludwig Hohlwein, Lucian Bernhard, and Jules Cheret are included in the collection.

At the time of its confiscation, Sachs’ collection was the largest of its kind. When the Gestapo seized the posters in 1938, Sachs was told that Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels wanted the works for a new museum wing dedicated to “business” art. Sachs’ collection included advertisements for travel destinations and various products as well as propaganda and political posters.

When Sachs arrived in the U.S. with his wife and young son, he assumed that he would never see his collection again. In 1961 he accepted about $50,000 from the West German government, figuring the works had not survived the war. In 1966 when Sachs learned that some of his collection was still intact in East Berlin, he made contact with communist authorities in an attempt to get the posters loaned for exhibitions. He never succeeded.

After Sachs’ death, his son Peter fought a five-year legal battle for the return of his father’s posters after a government panel denied his claim in 2007. The court ultimately ruled that Sachs had never lost legal ownership of the post collection and that Peter, Sachs’ heir, had the right to possession.

Guernsey’s auction house will handle the collections’ sale in three intervals. The first auction is scheduled for January 18, 2013 and the second and third series will take place at six-month intervals. Guernsey’s hopes to find a single buyer for the collection and has been in talks with museums in Germany, Israel, and the U.S.  

Published in News
Page 3 of 4