Sothebys Tel Aviv 88.
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Sotheby's Tel Aviv was over the moon last Friday when it added up its latest sale in Manhattan, a record-breaking $6,075,460. Several years ago, Rivka Sacher, the founding director of the Tel Aviv auction house, took a calculated risk in moving its Israeli sale to New York. The results were rewarding, but the March 16 sale set an all-time Israeli record that will be very hard to beat. A number of the Israeli and international Jewish lots doubled their rosiest estimates.
Some 76% of the 201 lots were sold. Top lot was an early Reuven Rubin of Mt. Scopus which doubled its estimate at a record $419,200. Another early Rubin, The Road to Jerusalem, Ein Karem, 1925, soared to $329,600. Other later Rubins neared $80,000. A Mordecai Ardon went for an astonishing $318,400 and another for $180,000 but another Ardon failed. An early David Reeb Camel/Time, seemingly overpriced at $20,000, went up to an amazing $69,000.
A 1978 Zaritsky abstraction went for an expected $180,000. A Reismanish portrait by Michael Gross went for $18,000. Two cabbages painted by Avigdor Arikha in 1973 tripled their estimate at $66,000.
The non-Israeli lots sold for $1.5m., led by two Chagalls that went for $374,400 and $318,400. A lovely little Lesser Ury of a woman in a Berlin cafe passed its estimates at $120,000.
MONTEFIORE'S LATEST Tel Aviv auction took in a little under $1m. with only 121 of the 267 lots sold. Best performer was Marc Chagall's flower piece which made $115,000. Moise Kisling's flowers did well at $86,250 and Avigdor Arikha's Red and Black Umbrellas, 2000, reached $75,900. Ludwig Blum's Bomberg-influenced view of Jerusalem, 1928, brought an expected $55,200. Marcel Janco's Rosh Pina, c. 1944, went for $34,500; and an early and uncharacteristic vase of flowers, 1938, by Arieh Aroch, brought a fine $28,750.
A Joseph Israel's Motherhood brought $29,900 and Abel Pann's A Praying Jew, circa 1910, went for $25,300.