Art mar­ket’s R5.6bn pal­ette

CityPress - - Business -

In what is shap­ing up to be another block­buster auc­tion sea­son in New York, 10 works of art that are head­ing to Sotheby’s and Christie’s next month are val­ued at almost $500 mil­lion (R5.6 bil­lion) com­bined.

Among the tro­phies is Al­berto Gi­a­cometti’s char­iot sculp­ture, es­ti­mated at more than $100 mil­lion at Sotheby’s, and a pair of Andy Warhol paint­ings of Elvis Pres­ley and Mar­lon Brando that are ex­pected to fetch $130 mil­lion at Christie’s.

The high-end art mar­ket is show­ing no sign of slow­ing down as col­lec­tors see paint­ings and sculp­tures as a good in­vest­ment. New York’s ma­jor spring im­pres­sion­ism, mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary art auc­tions in May tal­lied $2.2 bil­lion, 22% higher than last Novem­ber, when $1.8 bil­lion worth of art was sold. Es­ti­mates for 10 works of­fered by Sotheby’s and Christie’s to­tal $478 mil­lion.

Suzanne Gy­orgy, head of art ad­vi­sory and fi­nance at Cit­i­group, said Asian col­lec­tors had played a big role in boost­ing prices.

So far, the high­est-priced work is Gi­a­cometti’s painted bronze sculp­ture Char­iot, which was cast in 1951/52. Gi­a­cometti’s Walk­ing Man bronze sculp­ture sold for $103.4 mil­lion at Sotheby’s in London in Fe­bru­ary 2010, which was a record at the time for any work of art at auc­tion. Char­iot could sur­pass Gi­a­cometti’s per­sonal record.

A Fran­cis Ba­con trip­tych is the most ex­pen­sive work of art sold at auc­tion, fetch­ing $142.4 mil­lion last Novem­ber.

Sotheby’s also scored the con­sign­ment of Vincent van Gogh’s 1890 paint­ing Still Life, Vase with Daisies and Pop­pies, es­ti­mated at $30 mil­lion to $50 mil­lion.

Across town, Christie’s im­pres­sion­ist and mod­ern art sale on Novem­ber 5 will in­clude Edouard Manet’s Le Prin­temps, a jewel-like 1881 por­trait of a woman hold­ing a para­sol.

Es­ti­mated at $25 mil­lion to $35 mil­lion, it is be­ing sold to ben­e­fit a pri­vate US foun­da­tion sup­port­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal, pub­lic health and other char­i­ta­ble causes, Christie’s said.

– Bloomberg

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