NEW YORK—Overall volume and demand were down sharply at Christie’s annual Arte Español sale, held in Madrid on Oct. 2. The auction realized €5.6 million ($7.7 million), compared with €14.6 million ($21 million) last year.
Buy-in rates also rose considerably. Of 132 lots on offer, 70, or 62 percent, found buyers. By value the auction was 52 percent sold. In comparison, last year’s sale of 154 lots was 75 percent sold by volume and 86 percent sold by value.
Christie’s, however, pointed out that the auction also set ten new artist records, most achieved at the high end of the sale. All but one of the top ten lots sold to private collectors.
The top lots were led by Manolo Valdés’s Matisse como pretexto, 1988 (estimate: €200,000/300,000), which sold for €505,000 ($711,950), and Agustín Esteve y Marqués’s Retrato familiar de la duquesa de Osuna (estimate: $300,000/500,000) which sold for €361,000 ($508,700) to the Spanish Ministry of Culture.
Pablo Palazuelo’s Virtus Marin VI, 1995, brought €301,000 ($424,100), also a new record, against an estimate of €150,000/200,000. Baltasar Lobo’s Grande jeune fille à genoux, a bronze with black patina executed in 1987, sold for €265,000 ($373,400) on an estimate of €100,000/150,000. Nudo suelto, circa 2001, a painting by Juan Uslé (b. 1954), more than doubled expectations to sell for a record €193,000 ($271,925) against an estimate of €50,000/80,000.
Miquel Barceló’s painting Talls, 1988, fetched €217,000 ($305,786), in the middle of its €180,000/250,000 estimate. And Joan Miró’s oil-on-linen Dans une île, á 5 heures de après-midi, 1960, brought €181,000 ($255,000), within the estimate of €130,000/195,000.