ARTnewsletter Archive

Pop Art Hits a High Note At Fall Print Sales

Fall sales of prints and multiples saw robust bidding as buyers snapped up works by blue chip names including Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Marc Chagall.

NEW YORK—Fall sales of prints and multiples saw robust bidding as buyers snapped up works by blue chip names including Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Marc Chagall.

Christie’s two-day sale series, Oct. 25–26 brought $9.2 million and was 87 percent sold by lot and by value. Of the 431 works offered, 375 found buyers.

As ARTnewsletter was published, Sotheby’s had realized $3.8 million with a private collection sale on Oct. 27, “Important Contemporary Prints from an American Collection,” which featured 37 lots, 27 of which were sold. Sotheby’s various-owner print sale was held Oct. 28.

The top lot at Christie’s was Picasso’s La Femme au tambourin, 1939 which surpassed its $500,000/700,000 to sell for $722,500 to a U.S. dealer. Other top lots by Picasso in the sale included Torse de femme, 1953, which realized $242,500 on an estimate of $150,000/250,000 and was bought by a private South American collector. An earlier Picasso print, Le Repas frugal, from La Suite des Saltimbanques, 1904, sold to a U.S. dealer for $158,500 (estimate: $120,000/180,000).

Five of the ten highest lots were prints by Warhol, including Marilyn, 1967, which sold for $230,500 compared with an estimate of $150,000/250,000 and Moonwalk, 1987, a set of two screenprints in colors that sold for $122,500 on an estimate of $100,000/150,000.

Christie’s head of prints, Tudor Davies, said the sale was the strongest print sale in three and a half years. “The market responded enthusiastically” to several of the private collection offerings, including the top Picasso lot. “The print market continues to grow in breadth of collectors,” said Davies.

At Sotheby’s private sale, a lot by Warhol broke the $1 million-mark when a complete “Mao” portfolio, comprised of ten screenprints in colors, 1972, sold for $1.4 million, the high end of the $700,000/1.4 million estimate.

Another complete Warhol portfolio, this one entitled “Myths” and featuring color screenprints of characters such as Mickey Mouse, the Wicked Witch of the West, Uncle Sam and Howdy Doody, took $578,500, also clearing the $350,000/400,000 estimate.

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