With Record-Setting $26.8 M. Magritte in Front, Solid Sotheby’s Imp-Mod Sale Totals $315.4 M. in New York
Art Business

With Record-Setting $26.8 M. Magritte in Front, Solid Sotheby’s Imp-Mod Sale Totals $315.4 M. in New York

René Magritte, Le Principe Du Plaisir, 1937, sold for $26.8 million, a record for the artist. It was the top lot of the evening. Studded with a gripping array of top-class material that seemed to echo the collective angst of today’s headlines, Sotheby’s Impressionist and modern evening sale on Monday finished with a rock-solid $315.4 million result, though 16 of the 65 lots offered failed to sell, for a somewhat flabby buy-in rate by lot of 24.6 percent. The tally, including fees, fell comfortably midway between presale expectations of $283.9 million to $393.4 million. (Estimates do not include buyer’s premium.) That total easily hurdled last November’s $269.7 million result on 59 lots by 17 percent. Sotheby’s arranged 23 third-party guarantees, known here as “irrevocable bids,” whose backers can receive a financing fee for their trouble, and extended a single house guarantee. The firm’s solo risk, on a star lot that failed to sell, assuredly wiped out what should have been a profitable evening. In all, 41 of the 49 lots sold for $1 million dollars, and of those, an impressive seven exceeded $20 million dollars. Five artist records were set. (All prices reported include the hammer price plus a […]

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