Strong Night At The Art Auctions

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Even with all the wealth destruction, we take heart in knowing that rich people still exist and are willing to spend enormous sums on paintings.

Last night, the two big auction houses, Christie’s and Sotheby’s (BID) held events and though Christie’s was triumphant, selling $102.7 million worth of impressionist art vs. just $61.3 million, both houses were considered to have solid nights.

WSJ: Christie’s sale also fell comfortably within its revised presale estimate of between $87.6 million and $125.2 million, a heartening result that shows some collectors still want to compete for art bargains. The sales total still fell far below Christie’s $277 million sale last spring as well as the auction house’s $264 million evening sale of Yves Saint Laurent’s Impressionist and modern art collection in Paris three months ago.

Leading the latest round was Pablo Picasso’s 1968 portrait of a musketeer smoking a pipe and sporting an apple-green jacket and violet cap, “Mousquetaire √† la pipe,” which sold to a bidder in the room for $14.6 million. Christie’s had sold the same work five years ago for $7.2 million and expected it to sell for between $12 million and $18 million this time around.

As Art Market Monitor put it: “…reports of the art market’s collapse are entirely premature.”

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