When it last appeared at auction in 2003, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Self-Portrait” sold for $647,500. Last night, as Phillips de Pury launched London’s summer sequence of contemporary art sales, the 1985 work fetched five times that amount, or $3.4m. By evening’s end, $17.9m had traded hands at the auction, with 87% of the 31 lots finding buyers.
The night’s tally was a decided improvement over Phillips’ sale last year, which had a sell-through rate of only 53% and brought in $6.4m. Among the featured lots contributing to this year’s total was Jacob Kassay’s “Untitled”(2009), which sold to a telephone bidder for $232,229, more than double its high estimate.
Read more at Bloomberg.