NEW YORK—Sales of prints at Sotheby’s and Christie’s brought a total of $25.6 million. Sotheby’s sales on April 28-29 grossed $12.3 million with an offering of 738 works that was 87 percent sold by lot and 89.7 percent sold by value. Christie’s auctions, held May 1-2, realized a total of $13.3 million with 734 lots on offer. Of these, 658, or 90 percent, were sold. By value the sale realized 91 percent.
The top lot at Sotheby’s was By The Pond, by Mary Cassatt, which realized $340,000 (estimate: $60,000/80,000). Pablo Picasso’s Minotaure Aveugle Guidé par une fillette dans la nuit sold for $156,000, well above the high estimate of $100,000.
Three other lots scored the same price: Moulin Rouge, la goulue, by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (estimate: $80,000/120,000); Blue Elegy, by Robert Motherwell (estimate: $60,000/80,000); and Towards the Forest I (Zum Walde I), by Edvard Munch (estimate: $100,000/150,000). Works by Jasper Johns, Maurice Prendergast and Andy Warhol also figured among the top-selling lots.
Christie’s posted several records, including one for an Edgar Degas print when Mary Cassatt at the Louvre, 1879-80, sold for $520,000 against an estimate of $300,000/500,000. Picasso’s La femme au tambourin, 1938, brought $744,000 (estimate: $400,000/600,000), which Christie’s said was the highest price yet given for this print.
Flags I, 1973, by Johns, realized $553,600 (estimate: $400,000/500,000), while a complete set of screenprints of Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup I, 1968, fetched $497,600.
Says Kelly Troester, specialist head of the prints department at Christie’s: “American buyers competed against one another for master prints from the 19th and 20th centuries over the past two days. Key images and artists saw the most aggressive bidding.”
Among other top prices, a complete set of Warhol screenprints of Marilyn Monroe, 1967, realized $464,000 (estimate: $500,000/700,000); and Marc Chagall’s Four Tales From the Arabian Nights sold for a mid-estimate $352,000.Cirque, also by Chagall, brought $228,000.