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Muted 20th-Century and Contemporary Sale at Phillips in London Nets $17.9 M.

Rudolph Stingel's Untitled (Plan B) (2008).COURTESY PHILLIPS

Rudolph Stingel’s Untitled (Plan B) (2008).


The contemporary auctions in London continued today with the 20th-century and contemporary sale at Phillips’s Mayfair salesroom, with the house pulling in a modest £14.7 million (or about $17.9 million) in a brief sale. With buyer’s premiums included, the total just barely eclipsed the sale’s low estimate of £13 million (about $15.8 million, calculated sans premium). Several lots did not find buyers, resulting in a sell-through rate of 82 percent. (Two lots out of the original total of 30 were withdrawn, and 23 of the remaining 28 were sold.)

The biggest lots of the sale were Rudolph Stingel’s Untitled (Plan B), 2008, which sold for £2.5 million ($3 million), and Miquel Barceló’s Muletero (1990), which also sold for £2.5 million ($3 million).

The contemporary sales in London began last night, when Christie’s rode a string of successes to a robust $177.7 million haul. Phillips has increased its stature in London since CEO Ed Dolman opened the house’s new flagship on Berkeley Square in October 2014, but compared to the 60-lot-strong Christie’s sale Tuesday, this was a tad slight. The real bellwether of the market will be the evening sale at Sotheby’s, which begins later today.

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