Thursday, 23 June 2011
A Contest For Picasso's Mistresses Spurs Christie's Impressionist and Modern Sale to a Stunning $227 Million
LONDON— The summer auction season rocketed off the starting line at Christie's here, powered by a trio of Pablo Picasso's portraits of his most storied muse/lovers that cumulatively made £42 million, heavily contributing to the £140,019,200 ($227,111,142) tally. Eighty of the 92 lots sold during the two-and-a-half-hour marathon, delivering a stellar 13 percent buy-in rate by lot and 20 percent by value.
It was the slimmest casualty percentage by lot since the top of the market in June of 2007, another strong indicator that the art economy is humming and confidence is in full bloom despite dire international problems in finance and the Euro Zone.
Thirty-one lots sold for over a million pounds, forty over a million dollars, and four world records were set. The result was the third highest for Christie's London in this category, shy of last June's £152.6 million ($226.4 million) total. That sale had a 25 percent buy-in rate by lot.