$125 MILLION AT SOTHEBY’S CONTEMPORARY Sotheby’s New York sale of contemporary art on the evening of Nov. 11, 2008, totaled $125,131,500 (including premium), with 43 of 63 lots selling, or 68 percent. The total presale estimate was $203 million-$280 million. A third of the lots failed to sell, and most of the works that did sell went for less than their presale low estimate. Still, the auction is not being seen as a total disaster. "I want to thank the American collecting community for being smart about price," said auctioneer Tobias Meyer after the sale, with utter seriousness.