ARTnewsletter Archive

Sotheby’s Israeli Art Auction Points to a Growing Market

Sotheby’s sale of Israeli and international art on Dec. 18 in New York realized $5 million, up slightly from its previous $4.8 million total in February.

NEW YORK—Sotheby’s sale of Israeli and international art on Dec. 18 in New York realized $5 million, up slightly from its previous $4.8 million total in February. Sotheby’s Tel Aviv chairman Rivka Saker notes the higher total was achieved despite the fact that fewer lots were on offer—136, compared with 186 at the previous sale.

The latest auction brought the 2007 total to $10 million. Notes Saker: The auction “surpassed the results of our sale in February, even though it had less lots, demonstrating that this is a growing market.”

Rubin Still Life Leads

The highest price was given for a 1963-64 painting by Reuven Rubin (1893-1974), The Big Bouquet, a colorful floral still life that sold to an American collector for $301,000 (estimate: $200,000/300,000).

Five other works by Rubin also figured prominently at the top end of the sale, including Ramparts of Jerusalem, 1924, which was acquired by a collector from Belgium for $277,000 (estimate: $200,000/300,000).

Two works by Mordecai Ardon (1896-1992) sold within estimate: Page 5 of the Spring Score, 1972, fetched $169,000 (estimate: $150,000/250,000); and Birth of a Leaf, 1964, earned $145,000 (estimate: $100,000/150,000) from an Israeli collector.

Saker reports “strong international bidding from American, European and Israeli collectors, as well as some participation from the Far East.” —E.K.

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