From ill-gotten Nazi treasures to a massive trove of Picasso paintings up on the block, Sotheby’s massive February 4th $270m auction went beyond previous estimates of a worth of $150m - but when a piece of history is finally up for grabs, emotions run high.
Did You Know: According to a recent Christie’s survey of past buyers, most fine art is kept in the home, not in the vault?
With such a good showing of the art market early this year, demand is strong. Collectors from China, Russia and Brazil are snapping up classical works of art (Impressionists in particular), while collectors in North America and Europe have their eyes on high quality, contemporary works.
Pisarro Gets Top Price
Camille Pisarro’s “Boulevard Montmartre, Matinee de Printemps” was estimated to go for ₤10 million, but was eventually sold for an astounding ₤19.7 million instead, a double of the supposed value. It’s important to remember though that final costs include buyer’s premiums and fees, while the estimates are more of a “raw” price for what the work itself is wroth outside of such a competitive environment.
It was said by Sotheby’s that over 60% of the art sold earlier this month went for well over their high estimates - when it comes to art auctions, you may as well go big if you have any hopes for winning!
Nazi Loot: Van Gogh Sold for ₤16.9 Million
Vincent van Gogh’s “L'Homme est en mer” depicts a young mother holding a child, painted during the time he spent in the Saint-Remy asylum.
The painting was originally part of the Max Silberberg collection; forced to sell his collection by the Nazis at distressed prices during WW2, it was later returned to his air in 2000 by the Israel Museum. It made its way into this lot as part of a private collection by prominent art dealer and Holocaust survivor Jan Krugier left behind when he passed away in 2008 (all of which were sold).
It sold for $7 million in 1989, then again in the mid-90s for an undisclosed sum. It was estimated to sell for ₤8 million at the highest end and eventually went for almost ₤17 million.
Giacometti and Picasso Go Big
Picasso’s “Composition au Minotaure” sold for ₤10.4 million, when it was actually valued at its highest sale estimate for ₤2.5 million. Alberto Gioacometti’s “Man Crossing a Place for a Morning Sun” was another highlight going for ₤8.5 million.
Many of the highest selling items came from the Krugier collection. Kay Sage’s “Le Passage”, an American Surrealist known for their work, sold for almost 50 times its estimated value.
It’s expected that demand for 19th and early 20th century art will only increase, especially with buyers in Russia, China and Asia taking a larger role in winning auctions.
International interest isn’t limited only to art - but to showcase homes right here in Canada too! If you’ve been thinking about selling your own life’s work or about buying a home, we’re the realtors that know Oakville inside and out. Give us a call today and see what we can do for you.