ZURICH—At Christie’s evening sale of Swiss art in Zurich on June 7, Giovanni Giacometti’s painting The Walnut Tree, 1908, sold to a Swiss collector for CHF2.2million ($1.96million), above its estimate of CHF1.2million/1.8million. The catalogue cover lot, Ferdinand Hodler’s Lake of Geneva with Jura Mountains, 1911, however, disappointed, selling for just CHF2.6million ($2.3 million), with the hammer price falling below the CHF2.5million/3.5million estimate.
Christie’s took in a total of CHF11million ($9.5million) for 226 lots offered, of which 160 sold, bringing sell-through rates of 71 percent by lot and 63 percent by value. This sale was smaller than Sotheby’s Swiss-art sale one week later, on June 14, which brought in a total of CHF15.8million ($13.6million) with the same sold-by-lot rate of 71 percent (ANL, 6/29/10). But as at Christie’s, a work by Hodler, the slightly larger Lake of Geneva, Viewed from Chexbres, 1911, disappointed, fetching only CHF4million ($3.5million) from a Swiss private collector on the phone. Observers said the abundance of too many top early-20th-century works by this popular Swiss artist from several private collections in these auctions dampened the usually strong buyer interest.