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Selective but Solid Bidding Marks Sotheby’s Milan Sale

Sotheby’s auction of 19th-century paintings and sculpture in Milan on Dec. 19 realized €2.4 million ($3.5 million).

NEW YORK—Sotheby’s auction of 19th-century paintings and sculpture in Milan on Dec. 19 realized €2.4 million ($3.5 million). Though most of the moderately estimated works fell for prices well under €100,000, a number surpassed expectations, indicating healthy if selective demand. Just over half, or 55.4 percent, of the 139 lots found buyers. By value the sale achieved 74.5 percent of expectations.

At the high end, several paintings fetched more than €200,000. The highest price was €234,250 ($337,000) for an 1887 still life of fruit and candy by Emilio Longoni (1859-1932) that nearly doubled its €120,000 high estimate and set a new record for the artist. Second-highest was Giovanni Boldini’s 1917 portrait Ritratto di Lady Michelham, which also exceeded its €80,000/120,000 estimate to fetch €222,250 ($319,704). Carlo Bossoli’s Costantinopoli, Interno di Santa Sofia, 1839, took €132,250, or $190,240 (estimate: €120,000/180,000).

An 1894 painting of a mother and child, Gioie materne, by Giovanni Sottocornola (estimate: €60,000/80,000), brought €114,250 ($164,347); and Sorriso di Sole, by Pietro Pajetta (1845-1911), earned €105,850 ($152,264) against an estimated €50,000/70,000. Franceso Filippini’s mountain view Ai Piedi Del Ghiacco soared past its estimated €18,000/25,000 to take €102,250 ($147,100).

Ludovico Tommasi’s Nell’Uliveto, 1901, made €93,850 ($135,000), well above the high estimate of €35,000. And a record €84,250, or $121,200 (estimate: €40,000/60,000), was given for Carlo Cressini’s circa 1897 Et prope et procul.

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