What a difference a day makes. Paced by a $40m sale of a rare Klimt painting, Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art auction yesterday in New York was a notable success, and a major boost to the flagging Impressionist market. Unlike Christie’s tepid result at its parallel event the night before, Sotheby’s sold all but 13 lots for a total of almost $200m.
What evidently made the difference at Sotheby’s was the higher quality–and conservative estimates– of the 70 works offered. Confiscated by the Nazis and returned to an heir of the original owner after a protracted legal battle, Klimt’s “Litzlberg am Attersee,” , sold for some $15m more the $25m that Sotheby’s had expected. It wasn’t the sale’s only high point. “L’Aubade,” a 1967 work by Picasso that had been estimated at $18m-$25m, fetched $23.04m, and “Le Pont d’Argenteuil et la Seine,” an impressionist work by Gustave Caillebotte, pulled in $18m, setting a world record for the artist.
From the New York Times