the artnet auction
resultsa summary of
and modern sale, 11/13/96by Stewart Waltzer
It is hardly surprising that the cover lot
of Christie's sale last evening sold poorly. The
picture, Van Gogh's Femme dans une jardin, had
been on and off the New York scene for years
at prices ranging from $12 million on up. Estimated
at $5 million to $7 million, it hammered
at $3.1 million, a little more
than half the published estimate. The
percentage spread shows that the auction house set
its prices too agressively for the present market.
One hopes that it will take steps to amend such
false hopes in the future, lest this hubris
be punished by the gods even more severely. Still,
the volume of $75 million at Christie's and $85 million at
Sotheby's indicates a market that is far from feeble.
13 works were passed at the sale. Total volume
of the sale at the hammer prices shown was:
$75,115,000 as opposed to the volume of app.
$85,000,000 at Sotheby's the night before.
(P) = Passed lot (13). LOW (53%) = 1st
column shows work that did not exceed the low
estimate. MIDDLE (26%) = 2nd column shows
work that exceeded the low estimate but not the
high. HIGH (21%) = 3rd column shows work
that exceeded the high estimate.