ART MARKET WATCH
by Stewart Waltzer
In the first half hour of the Christie’s New York sale of Impressionist and modern art on May 4, 2010, auctioneer Christopher Burge managed to knock down only six lots, the bidding was so intense. Then he sold the 1932 Picasso, Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust
. The presale estimate of $70,000,000-$90,000,000 was the highest that Christie’s had ever placed on a lot at auction. It hammered down at $95,000,000, which with Christie’s commission totaled $106,500,000, the record for Picasso and any work of art sold at auction.† It took nine minutes for seven of the eight bidders to fall away.