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Lucian Freud’s Dead Bird, an impeccable if humble 15 x 21 in. watercolor and gouache on card from August 1943 -- an avatar of the artist’s peculiarly morbid sensibility -- sold for $771,000 at Christie’s London, almost double the presale high estimate. This work is from the collection of Kay Saatchi.
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Art Market Watch

LONDON CONTEMPORARY
AUCTIONS, A SLIDE SHOW

July 5, 2011 

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The June auctions of contemporary art in London last week give reason for optimism for those who jet in the art-market stratosphere. Sotheby's two-day total was $206 million, with an evening sell-through rate of almost 90 percent and 80.8 percent for the day sale. The total is more or less the same as that notched at the house in February 2008, six months before the financial collapse.

Christie's London came in more than 25 percent lower that its archrival, totaling $146.8 million, with sell-through rates of 82 percent during the evening auction and 75 percent during the day. At Phillips de Pury & Company London, the total was $26.7 million, with corresponding sell-through percentages of 87 percent and 77 percent.


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