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Picasso Prints Shine at Swann

Pablo Picasso’s linoleum cut Man with a Ruff, 1962, was the top lot at the Swann Galleries two-part sale of American and European prints and drawings on March 3, realizing $144,000, and surpassing the auctioneer’s $40,000/60,000 estimate.

NEW YORK—Pablo Picasso’s linoleum cut Man with a Ruff, 1962, was the top lot at the Swann Galleries two-part sale of American and European prints and drawings on March 3, realizing $144,000, and surpassing the auctioneer’s $40,000/60,000 estimate. The consignor was a New York dealer, and the buyer a private collector, according to Shauna Brickley, a specialist in Swann’s print department.

There were 44 prints by Picasso in the sale, 33 of which found buyers, often at strong prices. For instance, Bouquet for Jacqueline Picasso, a 1966 crayon drawing, brought $43,200 (estimate: $40,000/60,000), while the 1963 linoleum cut Portrait of Jacqueline with a Ruff drew $45,600 (estimate: $50,000/75,000) and the lithograph Head of a Young Girl, 1949, earned $36,000 (estimate: $25,000/35,000).

Overall, this was a strong sale for Swann. The total proceeds were $2.5 million, falling within the estimate of $2.4 million/3.6 million, and selling 605, or 84 percent, of 719 artworks on offer. “I believe we saw a collection of material in the sale that was of high quality,” Brickley stated, adding that the auction brought in “a lot of new buyers, people we hadn’t worked with before.”

The other top sellers included Amedeo Modigliani’s ca. 1910 pencil drawing Study of Nijinsky, which brought $72,000 compared with an estimate of $40,000/60,000 and Edward Hopper’s etching Night Shadows, 1921, which sold for $48,000 compared with an estimate of $25,000/35,000.

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