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February 10, 2010

Sotheby’s: Contemp sale hit £54m

By Spear's

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 — This evening’s sale of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s in London brought the exceptionally strong total of £54,074,450/ $84,761,700 / -61,461,160, a figure some £10 million above the pre-sale high estimate (est: £32,157,000-44,986,000) and one that represents the second highest total for a February Sale of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 — This evening’s sale of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s in London brought the exceptionally strong total of £54,074,450/ $84,761,700 / €61,461,160, a figure some £10 million above the pre-sale high estimate (est: £32,157,000-44,986,000) and one that represents the second highest total for a February Sale of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s.

The auction achieved remarkable sell-through rates of 97.9% by lot and 99.4% by value – the highest ever for a various owners sale of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s London – and no fewer than 21 new artist records were set.

The sale opened with the ZERO Art: Property from the Sammlung Lenz Schönberg – a collection of ZERO movement Art assembled by Gerhard and Anna Lenz over a period of 50 years. Together the 46 lots sold from the collection this evening soared above expectations, realising £23,213,050 / $36,386,456 / €26,384,013 – more than double the pre-sale low estimate for the group.

Almost all of the lots saw intense competition from multiple bidders and of the lots sold, 93.5% achieved prices in excess of their high estimates.  While the top-selling works of the group were by established names such as Yves Klein and Lucio Fontana, “lesser known artists stood up against the superstars” (Cheyenne Westphal).

In addition to the Lenz collection, other highlights of the evening were:

– Willem de Kooning’s Untitled XIV, which sold for £3,961,250

– Peter Doig’s monumental canvas Saint Anton (Flat Light), which sold for £2,841,250

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– Lucian Freud’s rediscovered Self Portrait with a Black Eye, which sold to an anonymous buyer for £2,841,250

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