I had the pleasure of seeing the musical South Pacific at Lincoln Center, and then having the song Honey Bun in my head for the whole week.
In fact, that annoying song is probably why I got a little contentious in my post on the Affordable Art Fair, contributing to my backhanded praise of the store Urban Outfitters for so cleverly following the pluralistic trends evident at the fair.
Well, dear reader, the auction results from our little game of match the estimate to the artwork are in. Sotheby’s had a terrible night on Tuesday, not selling some of its bigger works. To add insult to injury, Christies had a pretty good night on Wednesday selling the same artists.
Sotheby’s couldn’t sell its Picasso (estimated at $16-24M) or its Giacometti at the Impressionist and Modern auction. Giacommetti’s The Cat ($16-24M) at Sotheby’s went nowhere, even though the next night at Christies Giacometti’s “Bust of Diego (Stele III)” sold for more than its high estimate of $6.5 million.
On the other hand, Sotehby’s Monet sold for well over its estimate. Six bidders fought for “Sailboat on the River Seine, Argenteuil” that was originally estimated to fetch $1.2-1.8M. It was purchased for $3.4M.
Let’s play a game, shall we? The New York Times highlighted some quality works coming up for auction that have a newly-lowered price tag. I thought we’d play a little game to see how our own values line up with art world estimates.
Here’s the game: match the artwork with its estimate.
The Prices, in no particular order: 1. 1.2 to 1.8M; 2. 3.5 to 4.5 M; 3. 16 to 24 M; 4. 1.2 to 1.8 M; 5. 6 to 8 M; 6. 6 to 8 M
A. Giacommetti’s The Cat
B. Monet’s Sailboat on the River Seine, Argenteuil
C. Martin Kippenberger’s Untitled Self-Portrait
D. Jeff Koon’s Baroque Egg With Bow (Turquoise/Magenta)
E. Tamara de Lempicka’s Portrait of Madame M.
F. Alexander Calder’s Untitled Wall Relief
The answers are listed below. Auction houses consider Impressionist and Modern works to be the most stable purchases. These choices certainly cover many tastes. Does a Monet now cost more than a Jeff Koons? Are any of these estimates more than guesses (16 to 24M is a wide range…)?
These sales begin today at the big auction houses, so if you have disposable income in the range of 1M plus, maybe you should check out these newly-minted bargains. For the rest of us, I’ve got my thinking cap on for how we might get a little art on the walls. Cheers!
Answers: 1 & 4 at 1.2 to 1.8M are B and F, 2 at 3.5 to 4.5M is C, 3 at 16 to 24M is A, 5 & 6 at 6 to 8M are D and E.