Pablo Picasso’s musketeer sells for record $11.5 million at Sotheby’s
Pablo Picasso’s cherry-red musketeer painting “Homme a l’epee” has been sold for a whopping $11.5 million, the highest price of the season, and it leads Sotheby’s sale of Impressionist & Modern Art. With the pre-sale estimates of between £26.8 million and £37.3 million, the sale managed to raise a total of more than US $55 million (over £33 million). Out of the only 27 lots offered, 23 were able to find buyers. There was fierce bidding within the room and on telephones from international collectors and strikingly, eight works fetched prices in excess of £1 million, with an average lot value of £1.4 million. A second work by Picasso, a larger-than-life nude entitled “Nu debout” from 1968 went for $7 million. Three much sought-after works by Alberto Giacometti from a private European collection were sold for a total of more than $12 million. The magnificent vista of Istanbul by Paul Signac titled “La Corne d’or” was sold to a private collector for $2.2 million. While the global recession has undeniably taken its toll on the auctions, Melanie Clore, co-chairman of impressionist and modern art at Sotheby’ worldwide, seems optimistic. Clore said…
Tonight’s auction saw strong prices achieved across the board and this is a very positive message for the market. This evening we’ve seen once again that there is still a very healthy ongoing market for great impressionist and modern works of art.
Of the buyers in the sale, 10 percent were new to Sotheby’s. Sotheby’s managed to raise a total of £102.2 million at a the corresponding sale last year.