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Henri Matisse
Rosace
1954
passed
Christieís New York
Nov. 3, 2009
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ART MARKET WATCH
by Stewart Waltzer



Is underwhelming acceptable usage in the Chicago Manual of Style? If so, one might use it cruelly to describe Christieís 40-lot evening sale on Nov. 2, 2009. It didnít have a lot of lots. Impressionist material is scarcer in a static market where no one wants to sell, and auction houses are not inclined to buy. A lot of Christieís material had appeared in recent auctions, and few works, here or at Sothebyís on Nov. 3, are exciting at the level that weíve become accustomed to in the past few years. Still, brevity has its attractions. Tonightís sale had a few pretty lots and auctioneer Christopher Burge maximized their value, if not with customary legerdemain then with dogged tenacity.

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