TOP PRICE FOR PHARAOH
A statue of pharaoh Sesostris III was sold for 4,6 million French francs (US $ 821,000) in Paris by Drouot auctioneer Olivier Couteau-Bégarie.
The 60 cm high black fleckeled granitestatue, dating back to the 12th Dynasty, thus reached a record price for the French market regarding archaeological pieces despite the fact that the curator of the British Museum had expressed doubts about its authenticity before the sale.
ARTS OF FRANCE
Christie's sale titled «Arts of France» only totalled US $ 9,438 million on October 23rd 1998 in New York.
This result was rather disappointing in comparison with the 1997 sale which totalled over US $ 16 million. Only 109 lots out of 197 were sold while French furniture pieces and paintings did not sell well.
Antoine Watteau's Nymph before a fountain painted at the start of the artist's career however fetched $ 904,500 and a late study by François Boucher, Picking cherries, was sold for
US $ 552,500.
An attractive portrait of a man, which might have been the work of either Watteau, de Troy or Tiepolo, was acquired for US $ 101,500 against an estimate of US $ 60,000-80,000.
The most suprising result was for a pair of Chinese lacquered and bronze Louis XV stands which went for US $ 156,500 against a top pre-sale estimate of US $ 18,000.
Meanwhile a pair of Louis XV gilded wood consoles sold for
US $ 629,500.
THE ARMORY SHOW
The International Fine art and Antique dealers show which was held at the Seventh Regiment Armory on Park Avenue in New York from October 16th to 22nd 1998 met considerable success, according to the organisers.
Participants were satisfied about the volume of sales for this 10th edition notably for French Art Deco furniture. Belgian dealer Philippe Denys sold 45 pieces and the French gallery Valois also fared well.
The Ariane Dandois gallery sold 80% of pieces presented during the show notably to U.S buyers.
Regarding paintings, Paris dealers Philippe Cazeau and Jacques de la Béraudière were more than satisfied while the Hopkins Thomas-Custot gallery sold a painting by Pierre Bonnard for almost US $ 1 million.
Belgian dealer Axel Vervoort sold a painting by French painter Eugène Fromentin for US $ 440,000 while the Chinese Porcelain Company of New York sold 40 chinese watercolors showing birds at US $ 3,800 each on the second day of the fair.
As a conclusion, American buyers did not hesitate to buy what they liked while the Europeans appeared somewhat hesitant.