Sotheby’s Contemporary Art and 20th Century Italian Art Sales Set Records

. October 14, 2011 . 0 Comments

Sotheby’s Evening Sales of Contemporary Art and 20th Century Italian Art, including ‘Italian Identity’ – an important private collection – brought the combined total of £39,456,950/$62,081,566/€45,048,011 against the pre-sale estimate of £34,982,000-48,338,000 – in excess of the total achieved for the equivalent sales last year (£34 million). A total of six artist records were established across both sales – for Alberto Burri, Leon Kossoff, Wim Delvoye, Francesco Lo Savio, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Giuseppe Penone.

The Contemporary Art Evening Sale brought a total of £17,809,000/$28,020,681 /€20,332,540 (pre-sale est. £19-26 million) – the third-highest total for an October sale of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s London – and established sell-through rates of 76.6% by lot (36 of the 47 lots offered sold) and 79.2% by value, and saw two new artist records set for Leon Kossoff and Wim Delvoye.

Sotheby’s sale of 20th Century Italian Art (including ‘Italian Identity’, an important private collection) achieved the highest-ever total for a sale in this category, with a total of £21,647,950/$34,060,885/€24,715,471, exceeding pre-sale expectations (est. £15.8-21.7 million) and established healthy sell-through rates of 79.3% by lot and 84.9% by value. The important private collection ‘Italian Identity’ (lots 1-36) realised £10,691,550/$16,822,085/€12,206,546 (pre-sale est. £7,087,000-9,863,000).

· The top-selling lot of the 20th Century Italian Art Sale was Alberto Burri’s Combustione Legno, which sold for £3,177,250 ($4,999,085/€3,627,467) – a record for the artist at auction.

· The top-selling lot of Contemporary Art Evening Sale was Lucian Freud’s Portrait Boy’s Head of 1952 depicting Charlie Lumley, which sold for £3,177,250/$4,999,085/€3,627,467

· Leon Kossoff’s A Street in Willesden of 1985 sold for £690,850/$1,086,983/€788,744 – almost double its low estimate of £350,000-450,000 – a record for the artist at auction.

Category: Fine Art

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