TOKYO—Mallet Japan Inc., a recent arrival on Japan’s art-auction scene, held its second major sale on Oct. 15. The sale of Western and Japanese modern art realized ¥318.14 million ($2.8 million). Of 127 lots on offer, a total of 95, or 74.8 percent, were sold.
The two highest prices were for works by Pablo Picasso: Portrait de Jacqueline de Profil, 1963, fetched ¥35 million, or $304,880 (estimate: ¥30/36 million); and La suite des Saltimbanques, a set of 15 lithographs, 1905, sold for ¥28 million, or $243,902 (estimate: ¥25/35 million). Marc Chagall’s Amoureaux, 1950, made ¥20.5 million, or $178,571 (estimate: ¥15/25 million). Among the top lots in Yoga: Takenori Orisu’s oil Une maison a Vanves, 1931-32, took ¥19.5 million, or $169,860 (estimate: ¥18/23 million).
Several higher-priced contemporary artworks performed well. Some highlights: Yoshitomo Nara’s The Doors, 2000, earned ¥19.5 million, or $169,860 (estimate: ¥15/20 million); Andy Warhol’s silk-screen Marilyn Monroe, 1967, fetched ¥4.8 million, or $41,800 (estimate: ¥5/6 million); and David Hockney’s lithograph The Blue Guitar (a set of 20 pieces) sold for ¥3.7 million, or $32,229 (estimate: ¥3/4 million). Prices do not include the buyer’s premium.
Mallet Japan was launched last May by Tomoaki Takahashi, formerly an auctioneer at Mainichi Auction. Mallet’s inaugural sale on July 15—also devoted to Western and Japanese modern art—realized ¥482.82 million ($4.3 million). A total of 75 lots, or 88.2 percent of 85 lots, found buyers. The house focuses on higher-priced Japanese and Western art works, targeting both Japanese and international buyers. It expects to hold six auctions annually, three of them major sales featuring about 100 high-estimate works.