Auctions: Money chasing masterpieces

Lyonel Feininger's delightful Angler mit blauem Fisch, II, 1912, one of the earliest examples of modernist fun, set a record at 4,152,000, double its pre-sale estimate, while a pastel by Edgar Degas Sortie du Bain, sold for 6,728,000.

By MEIR RONNEN
June 29, 2006 08:05
2 minute read.
modigliani art 88 298

modigliani art 88 298. (photo credit: )

SOTHEBY'S June sale of Impressionist and Modern Art raised a record $163.77m., the highest total for any auction ever held in London. Modigliani's portrait of his tragically fey companion Jeanne H buterne (au chapeau), painted in 1919, went for $30,180,928, the second highest price ever achieved for a Modigliani at auction. Picasso's Le Peintre et son modele from 1963 fetched 7,400,000, the highest price ever paid for a late Picasso. Lyonel Feininger's delightful Angler mit blauem Fisch, II, 1912, one of the earliest examples of modernist fun, set a record at 4,152,000, double its pre-sale estimate, while a pastel by Edgar Degas Sortie du Bain, sold for 6,728,000. Henry Moore's Large Four Piece Reclining Figure went for 3,368,000. Vlaminck's 1905 Le Verger, one of the artist's Fauve works, sold for 2,360,000. Twenty lots sold for over 1 million and 30 sold for over $1 million, while 41 works sold on or above their pre-sale estimates. The sale was 92.8% sold by value and 85.7% sold by lot. THAT THE market is clearly as buoyant as ever was also in evidence at Christie's evening sale, which realised 86,988,400 - 79% sold by lot and 83% sold by value. Top lot was a rediscovered oil by Egon Schiele (1890-1918) Herbstsonne, 1914, which brought a stunning $21,688,424 from a private buyer. TWO WORKS by Boris Schatz, founder of the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts, open the huge two-part July sale at Tiroche of Herzliya on July 8 and 15. The typical Schatz relief of a shofar blower is a bore but his lively gestural and colorful oil portrait of a Yemenite Jew in a bright yellow turban appears almost out of character, though he painted several such oils in the '20s ($4,000-$6,000). Two carefully handled tabletops of utensils by Yosl Bergner, probably from the '60s, start at $8,000 and $13,000. There's an unusual Reuven Rubin 1939 watercolor of a vase of flowers sitting improbably in the middle of a chessboard and chessmen ($15,000-$20,000), a pleasanter and more interesting work than the many other Rubins on offer. There are over 700 lots in this sale. They include paintings by the likes of Kikoine, Kremegne and Pressmane; and early landscapes by Arie Lubin, Moshe Mokady, Zvi Mairovich and Nahum Gutman. There are many abstract oils by Lea Nikel. Viewing begins today.


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