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CHRISTIE'S SLIGHTLY SURPASSES SOTHEBY'S
05 July 2017
Category : MARKET

Finding the help of strong Asian biddings and thanks to a record for a Max Beckmann painting during its sale of Impressionist and Modern art held in London on June 28,2017, Christie's edged past Sotheby's with a total of 149.5 million GBP, just above its lower overall estimate.

30 of the 32 lots offered for sale were sold but half of them went at or below their low estimates. Max Beckmann's Bids'Hell (1937-38) from the collection of Richard Feigen sold in favour of Larry Gagosian,  presumably for the New York collector Leon Black, at a record price of 36 million  GBP. The previous record for the artist had been set at 22,6 million USD for his self-portrait with horn (1938) when bought in New York in 2001.

The disappointment of the sale was Egon Schiele's "Individual Houses with Mountains" (1915) estimated between 20 and 30 million GBP which failed to attract any bidder while Pablo Picasso's portrait of Marie-Thérèse, "Femme écrivant" (1934) went for 34.9 million  in favour of a Chinese bidder.

Other Asian Biddings were on Vincent Van Gogh's "Le Moissonneur" (after Millet-1889), a work bought in 1995 for 2.5 million GBP, which fetched 22 million GBP, Claude Monet's "Weeping Willow" (1918-19) sold for 8.9 million (well under its lower estimate of 15 million) and "Le Chemin Creux" (1882) which went for 5.6 million, well over its high estimate of 3 million.


Modigliani's Cariatide (1913) only went at 6.9 million GBP against a low estimate of 6 million. A grid composition by the Belgian de Stijl artist Georges Vantongerloo sold for 1.1 million, double its pre-sale estimate of £350,000–450,000 and a rare painting by the Dada artist Hannah Höch sold above estimate for a record 1.1 million GBP.

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