NEW YORK—London print sales at Christie’s and Sotheby’s (March 28–29), ranging from Old Master to modern and contemporary works, saw solid demand and yielded healthy overall totals. However, works by Andy Warhol accounted for many of the top lots at both houses.
Christie’s sale on March 28 took in £2.5 million ($4 million), for 164 lots offered. Of these, 130, or 79 percent, were sold. By value the sale realized 90 percent.
Sotheby’s sale on March 29, brought in £3.4 million ($5.4 million) for 180 lots offered, of which 150, or 83 percent, were sold. By value the sale realized 92 percent.
Christie’s sale was led by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s Englische Steptänzerinnen, 1911, a woodcut printed in black, green, mustard-yellow and pink, that realized £241,250 ($384,794), compared with an estimate of £200,000/300,000.
It was followed by Pablo Picasso’s iconic image, Le Repas Frugal, from: “La Suite des Saltimbanques,” 1904, an etching with drypoint, that sold for £109,250 ($174,254), compared with an estimate of £30,000/50,000.
Among the Warhol works that topped the sale, were Campbell’s Soup II, 1968, a complete set of sceenprints, selling for £109,250 ($174,254) against an estimate of £80,000/120,000. It was followed by a screenprint in colors of Marilyn Monroe, 1967, which sold for £85,250 ($135,974), compared with an estimate of £25,000/35,000. Warhol’s version of The Scream (after Munch), 1984, a unique screenprint in color, from a small, unnumbered edition, sold for £79,250 ($126,404) on a £70,000/100,000 estimate.
A monotype by Edgar Degas, La Toilette (Lecture après le bain), ca. 1877–85, on laid paper, sold for £73,250 ($116,834) on an estimate of £50,000/70,000. The same price was realized for Albrecht Dürer’s engraving titled Adam and Eve, 1504, against a slightly higher estimate of £60,000/80,000.
At Sotheby’s sale on March 29, the top lot was yet another Warhol version of Munch’s The Scream, also dated 1984, albeit in brighter, almost neon-like, colors that were clearly delineated. It sold for £313,250 ($498,631), compared with an estimate of £150,000/200,000. Another Warhol Marilyn also figured in the top lots here, with the 1967 screenprint in colors selling for £115,250 ($183,455), compared with an estimate of £60,000/80,000.
The second-highest lot of the sale was a Rembrandt drypoint and engraving, Christ Crucified Between the Two Thieves: The Three Crosses, 1653, which brought £301,250 ($479,530), falling within the £250,000/350,000 estimate.
Other top lots included C.R.W. Nevinson’s Building Aircraft: Banking at 4000 Feet, 1917, which sold for £115,250 ($183,455) on an estimate of £20,000/30,000.
And a Warhol sceenprint depicting Superman, in colors, with diamond dust, entitled Myths: Superman, 1981, sold for £109,250 ($173,904), against an estimate of £60,000/80,000.
The same price was also realized for Warhol’s 25 Cats Name[d] Sam and One Blue Pussy, ca. 1954, a set of offset lithographs with hand coloring, that had been estimated at £50,000/70,000.