Contemporary Art Auctions London 
18 JULY 2010

Jules De Balincourt ( 1972- ), US WORLD STUDIES II
estimate  £40,000-60.000  Sold for £277 250 at Christie's 30 June

The highlight of this  season’s  Contemporary Art Auctions was Christie's Contemporary sale on 30 June 2010.

Quality works were offered in a well curated exhibition and this manifested in the results. The auction was well attended and results  improved by 139% compared to 2009.  84% Of all lots were sold. However it was still the key lots which attracted the fiercest bidding clearly indicating that the rest of the market is still cautious.
The auction started right away with energetic bidding on a work by Jules de Balincourt  presale estimate  40 000 – 60 000 Pounds which sold for 277 250 Pounds. Roy Lichtenstein’s Collage for nude with red shirt, 1995 sold for a whopping 2.7 million Pounds against the presale estimate of 600 000 – 800 000 Pounds.   
Mid-way through the sale bidding slowed down a bit but overall  good sale results were achieved.   

Roy Lichtensten ( 1923-1997 ), COLLAGE FOR NUDE WITH RED SHIRT
estimate  £600,000-800.000  Sold for £2 729 250
 at Christie's 30 June
Takashi Murakami ( 1962- ), SAKURA
estimate  £180,000-250.000  Sold for £385 250
 at Christie's 30 June

Sotheby’s on the other hand was criticized  for failing to deliver more selected prized lots. The auction was well attended with numerous telephone bidders taking part. The atmosphere during most of the auction was muted as if most bidders were still recuperating from the Basel Art Fair. The sale total of 41.1 million Pounds came in at the lower pre-estimate of 39.9 – 52.6 million Pounds  with 83% of the lots sold.

Phillips de Pury’s sale scheduled between the sales of Christies and Sotheby’s disappointed with 50% of lots not sold. 

Judging from the prevailing energy at the various venues it is clear that sales have not fully recovered. Numerous reasons for the average results can be argued. The recently concluded Basel Art Fair must have played a role where all major Artists and Galleries were represented. Buyers in this price category would have made their purchase at the fair already and this was also the reason given why a work by Jean-Michel Basquiat failed to sell at Christie's. (Basquiat’s work were on offer at numerous Galleries at the fair)

Jean-MIchel Basquiat ( 1960-1988 ), UNTITLED,
estimate £2,500 000-3,500 000 NOT SOLD
at Christie's 30 June
To conclude, auction sale results are on the rebound and quality lots are on offer again.

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