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Modern Art Holds Firm at Uneven Tokyo Auctions

Shinwa Art Auctiono’s sale of modern art, on Sept. 16, realized ¥481.09 million ($4.1 million)—up slightly from the house’s auctin on July 15 that took ¥363.61 million ($3.1 million). Of 167 lots on offer, 128, or 76.65 percent, were sold.

TOKYO—Shinwa Art Auction’s sale of modern art, on Sept. 16, realized ¥481.09 million ($4.1 million)—up slightly from the house’s auctin on July 15 that took ¥363.61 million ($3.1 million). Of 167 lots on offer, 128, or 76.65 percent, were sold.

Nihonga, or traditional Japanese painting, brought strong prices: Yasushi Sugiyama’s Hikage brought ¥54 million, or $458,145 (estimate: ¥40/55 million); Matazo Kayama’s Shunsho Ikkoku fetched ¥27 million, or $228,774 (estimate: ¥25/35 million); Ikuo Hirayama’s Houryuji no Asa sold for ¥25 million, or $211,830 (estimate: ¥25/35 million); and Gekko Sabaku wo Iku, also by Hirayama, made ¥20 million, or $169,462 (estimate: ¥20/30 million).

Among top lots in Yoga, or paintings by Japanese artists: Ryuzaburo Umehara’s Asamasan Akiiro, 1957, took ¥40 million, or $338,925 (estimate: ¥40/50 million); and his Fujisan zu, 1955, made ¥13.5 million, or $114,387 (estimate: ¥9/15 million). Two works by Toshio Arimoto also fared well. His Teatre no Umi, 1977, fell for ¥14 million, or $118,620 (estimate: ¥9/15 million); and Makuma, 1978, brought ¥11 million ($93,200), above the high estimate of ¥8 million.

Western art was relatively weak. Auguste Rodin’s sculpture Grande main crispée avec figure fetched ¥7 million, or $59,300 (estimate: ¥4/6 million); Bernard Buffet’s oil painting Anémones dans un vase, 1956, made ¥6.8 million, or $50,840 (estimate: ¥6/8 million); and Maurice de Vlaminck’s oil painting Route de village, which carried an estimate of ¥9/12 million, failed to sell.

Lucian Freud Shines at AJC Auction

A sale of modern art by Tokyo’s AJC Auction, on Sept. 23, realized ¥286.24 million ($2.5 million). A total of 136, or 86.1 percent, of 158 lots found buyers. The result was down from the July 3 total of ¥567.25 million ($4.9 million).

The top lot of the sale was a Lucian Freud pastel on paper, Boy in Red and Blue Jacket, 1945, which fell for ¥46 million ($395,000), about three times the low estimate (estimate: ¥15/20 million). Georges Rouault’s oil painting Pierots, 1937, fetched ¥7.2 million, or $61,840 (estimate: ¥5.8/7 million); and Buffet’s Trébeurden 1, 1990, won ¥5.5 million, or $47,240 (estimate: ¥4.5/6.5 million).

Among the top lots in Yoga: Rei Kamoi’s Inori, 1965, took ¥11.5 million, or $98,770 (estimate: ¥8/13 million); Kunitaro Suda’s Bara realized ¥6.8 million, or $58,400 (estimate: ¥7/10 million); and Takanori Ogisu’s Intérieur de Lucien Boszanger, 1964, sold for ¥6.2 million, or $53,250 (estimate: ¥6.5/9 million).

Among top lots in Nihonga: Sugiyama’s Hana, 1961, fetched ¥14.5 million, or $124,500 (estimate: ¥14/20 million); Hirayama’s Unko Sekkutsu went for ¥10 million ($85,900), below the estimated ¥15/20 million; and Kayama’s Shirasagi realized ¥7.5 million, or $64,400 (estimate: ¥7/10 million). Prices do not include the buyer’s premium.

SUKI NAKAMICHI

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