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Christie's New York sale of post-war art had a decent turnover last night, May 16, 2001. 49 of the 59 lots offered sold -- 82 percent -- for a total of $41,239,725. Prize lot of the evening was Andy Warhol's Large Flowers (1964). Estimated between $3 million-$4 million, it finally sold to an anonymous telephone bidder for an amazing $8,476,000, a hefty sum even for a rare large-scale (82 x 162 in.) Warhol painting. Carol Vogel reported in the New York Times today that the raging Warhol bidders included the likes of Phillips chairman Simon de Pury, and art dealers Andrew Fabrikant and Doris Ammann.

Another Warhol, Orange Marilyn (1962), estimated at $2-$3 million had the second highest price of the evening -- $3,746,000. The same picture sold at Christie's in 1998 for "only" $2.7 million. A third Warhol, Campbell's Soup Can (Clam Chowder) also did well, selling for within its estimate at $1,766,000.

Other top lots included a colorful painting titled Black by Sam Francis that sold for $2,426,000 (est. $1.4 million-$1.8 million) to a private American collector. Gerhard Richter was the second star of the auction with three of his works making the top ten list: Buschdorf (1985) sold for $2,206,000 (est. $2.5 million-$3.5 million), Claudius (1986) fetched $1,876,000 (est. $1 million-$1.5 million) and Fisch (1-3) and Schiff (1-3), a set of six paintings from 1986, sold for $1,436,000 (est. $1-$1.5 million). One of the artist's more dismal works, Portrait Wunderlich (1967), however, estimated at $2.5 million-$3.5 million, did not make the cut. Alexander Calder's 1943 sculpture Constellation (Easter Hat) sold for a surprising $1,106,000 (est. $300,000-$500,000).

The evening's biggest disappointment was a Mark Rothko, No. 18 (Brown and Black on Plum), from 1958. Although it had the highest estimate at $7-$10 million, it failed to sell at $3.4 million.
-- by Sherry Wong
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