Thursday, November 5, 2015

Uh oh: "Sotheby's Taubman auction disappoints at $377 million"

One sale does not a trend make but there was some good stuff here and the fact it didn't sell says something about the buyers' enthusiasm. Or the Auctioneer's.
From the Detroit Free Press:
Well, that was kind of a bust.

Despite massive presale publicity and blue-chip names like Edgar Degas, Pablo Picasso and Mark Rothko, the first of four auctions devoted to the art collection owned by the late Detroit shopping mall mogul A. Alfred Taubman managed to fetch only $377 million including fees on Wednesday night at Sotheby's in New York.

That may sound like a lot of money, but the closer you look at the numbers the less impressive they are. The total barely surpassed the low end of Sotheby's presale estimate of $375 million and came nowhere near the high estimate of $527 million. And the estimates do not include the $50 million in commission fees paid by buyers to the auction house. The overall hammer price  — the total of the winning bids before the fees were added — amounted to just $325 million, according to arts reporter and blogger Lee Rosenbaum.

Of the 77 Modern and Impressionist works for sale Wednesday, which included the highest-priced stars of Taubman's eclectic collection,  32 — roughly 42% — failed to meet their low estimate, even with Sotheby's commission rolled into the final price. Eight works failed to find buyers....MORE
The Free Press illustrates their piece with:

One of the few bright spots at Wednesday's auction of art owned by the late A. Alfred Taubman at Sotheby's 
in New York was the sale of Modigliani’s “Paulette Jourdain” for nearly $43 million (including fees).

about which we almost posted yesterday. Well, a day late and a hundred million short here's artnet's:
The True but Secret Story behind Amedeo Modigliani's Favorite Model Paulette Jourdain