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Tiroche of Herzliya reports a wonderful January auction. Well, despite the fact that their top lots (a good Chagall watercolor with an estimate of $120,000 and a Moise Kisling portrait of a young woman) did not sell, the percentage of lots sold was a healthy 86.53 percent and the total take was a terrific $1,631,263.
Top lot sold was a nude, an oil by Avigdor Arikha, Mirror on the Wall, 1982, which just passed its top estimate at $85,100.
A big surprise was an oil by the late Menachem Shemi, A Figure in Safed, 1949, signed Schmidt, which went for five times its estimate at $34,500.
Also topping its best estimate was a Reuven Rubin, Vase of Flowers, which sold for $23,000.
Dina and her Brothers, a strong pastel on paper from the 1920s by Abel Pann, came close to its top estimate at $39,100.
Zvi Malnovizer's oil The Mitzva Dance, 1991, just passed its top estimate at $18,400 while Leopold Gottlieb's Around the Table, an oil on paper mounted on board, went for over four times its estimate at $9,775.
Pinchus Kremegne's Still Life on the Window Sill, an undated School of Paris oil on canvas, more than doubled its expectations at $18,400. Rabbi, 1962, a gouache by Mane-Katz, tripled its estimate and sold for $10,925. A wash and charcoal self-portrait by the German-Jewish master Max Liebermann (currently being honored with a show at the Jewish Museum of New York) more than doubled its estimate to sell for $10,350.
All the three abstractions by Lea Nikel, who died last year, sold well. Her large oil, The Clock, 1966, went for four times its estimate at $43,700. She and Arikha were the only contemporary painters in the top 10.
Other paintings by Yosl Bergner and Yohanan Simon topped their estimates.
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