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 Vincent van Gogh, 
Nature Morte, 
Glaieuls, 1886.
1,300,000

 Pierre-Auguste 
Renoir, Portrait de 
Jean Renoir, l'Enfant 
au Cerceau, 1898.
1,900,000
 
 Gustave Courbet, 
Le Bois Sous la 
Neige, c. 1875.
98,000

 
 Edouard Manet, 
Femme au Tub, 1879.
350,000
 

 Edgar Degas, Femme 
se Coiffant, c. 1884.
980,000
 

 Renoir, Nu Assis, 1913.
Passed at 200,000


 Degas, Trois 
Danseuses (Jupes 
Bleues, Corsages 
Rouges), c. 1903.
2,100,000


 Pablo Picasso, Le 
Peintre. 510,000

artnet auction
results
impressionists & moderns 
at sotheby's london
12/03/96

by Stewart Waltzer
When Simon de Pury finally found two 
bidders in the room, he would step forward 
on his right foot and extend his right arm 
toward the first bidder. Then he would step 
back and do the same thing, but with his 
left foot and left arm toward the second 
buyer. Back and forth through the 10 or 15 
increments required to sell the work. You 
could call it the Sotheby's Macarena, but 
alas there were few people in the room who 
cared to dance. 
53 lots were entered. Just under 50 percent 
(25 lots) passed. 80 percent (40 lots) 
failed to exceed the low estimate at the 
hammer. 8 percent (5 lots) exceeded the low 
estimate but not the high. 12 percent (8 
lots) exceeded the high. The total volume 
was approximately 11.8 million at the 
hammer.
Nothing could speak more eloquently of the 
condition of the sale than those 
statistics. It was on a par with Christie's 
11.5-million performance the night before. 
Nor was it entirely the fault of the 
pictures. Sotheby's first 14 lots were 
bound in a separate catalogue that betokens 
significant works. Of these, eight lots 
were passed, including the fab Renoir 
portrait of his son Jean dressed as a girl. 
Six lots belonging to the Henry Moore 
Foundation followed. Four sold but the 
Renoir and the Vuillard did not. 
A small Manet, the Henry Moore Foundation's 
Courbet and the large Degas pastel did well 
but not brilliantly. Brilliance was 
reserved for a decidedly mediocre late 
Picasso, that was the object of desire of 
two dowager ladies. Bids flew back and 
forth with such fervor that Mr. de Pury had 
to quicktime his Sotheby's two-step. It 
brought 510,000, which is no more than 
three times its probable value.
The wit in London has it that "no one will 
sit still for `Noo Yawk' prices he-ah!" But 
no one in New York is sitting all that 
quietly either. 
Perhaps the houses will see their interest 
in guiding clients to realistic levels and 
once again it will be time to buy. 
Prices below are as at the hammer, given in 
British pounds, 
 LOW	 MIDDLE	 HIGH
1. 450,000
2. 680,000 (passed)
3. 250,000 (passed)
4. 140,000 (passed)
5. 1,300,000 van Gogh
6. 95,000 (passed)
7. 1,900,000 (passed) Renoir
8. 129,000
9. 620,000 (passed)
10. 50,000
11. 20,000 (passed)
12. 80,000
13. 80,000
14. 65,000 (passed)
15. no lot
16. Courbet 98,000
17. 350,000
18. Degas 980,000
19. 170,000 (passed)
20. 200,000 (passed)
21. large Degas 2,100,000
22. 870,000
23. Manet 1,450,000
24. 180,000
25. Degas 800,000
26. 220,000
27. 260,000 (passed)
28. 450,000
29. no lot
30. 280,000
31. 235,000
32. 530,000
33. 140,000
34. 110, 000
35. 75,000 (passed)
36. 300,000
37. 140,000 (passed)
38. 75,000 (passed)
39. 110,000 
40. 340,000 (passed)
41. 170,000 (passed)
42. 140,000
43. 170,000 (passed)
44. 140,000
45. 380,000 (passed)
46. 510,000
47. 85,000 (passed)
48. 600,000 (passed)
49. 450,000 (passed)
50. 200,000
51. 75,000 (passed)
52. 220,000 (passed)
53. 95,000 (passed)
54. 140,000 (passed)
55. 600,000 (passed).

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