12 déc. 2007

2008 auction marks : Riemenschneider, cars, motorcycles, art and collectibles, and Damien Hirst on art market

Sotheby's New York sells on January 24 a wooden sculpture by Riemenschneider, good size (104 cm). It expects $ 4 million (SOLD 5.6 M$ before fees). Another statue of a holy woman by the same artist, very similar, recorded $ 2.7 million on May 22, 2001, also at Sotheby's New York.

Newly authorized for auctioning in France, Bonhams disclosed the top lot of its
Salon Rétromobile Paris sale of February 9: THE Mercédès of Georges Mathieu, just restored and entrusted to the auction house by the artist himself. The personality of Mathieu once hit the French chronicle, there is now some doubt whether this is enough to make prices exploding, but this 1936 model of convertible Mercédès 500K is splendid. We want to believe in his estimate of 900 K €. (SOLD 800 K€ before fees)
The traditional Artcurial sale will be held at the Palais des Congrès on the same day. This is clever because fans will be looking at Paris. (SOLD a Voisin of 1935 460 K€ before fees). Rétromobile, as did the FIAC this fall, is the opportunity to sessions of consolidated sales, which is common in all other auction centers in the world, but new to Paris.

Barrett-Jackson, accustomed of prestigious sales in Scottsdale, Arizona, announced a sale at the Collector Car Event there from 12 to 20 January, including a 1933 Duesenberg (SOLD 1 M$ before fees, redated 1928 in results, lot 1311). Have in mind that their main competitor RMAuctions has obtained $ 4.4 million for a 1935 Duesenberg on 17 August in Monterey, California. In the same Scottsdale sale there is one of 19 Rolls Royce Phantom II coupé of 1935 (SOLD 400 K$ before fees), a unique Chevrolet Corvette improved by Pininfarina (SOLD 1.6 M$ before fees) and ... a terrible car eating Robosaurus weighing 31 tons (car-crushing robot). 2008 will be the year of first valueing the Robosaurus in auction, even Artprice knows nothing in that name! (SOLD 575 K$ before fees).
Barrett Jackson announced that 300000 people have visited their annual sales events of Scottsdale and Palm Beach in 2007. Distinguished European auctioneers, who can claim a similar figure?
Gooding also sells in Scottsdale, Jan. 19: they present a Ferrari 365 GTS / 4 Daytona Spyder 1971. (SOLD 1.29 M$ including fees).
RMAuctions organizes its great sale on January 18 in Phoenix, Arizona; the menu: Ferrari, Rolls Royce, Packard, Bugatti, Chevrolet, Ford, Lincoln. (SOLD 2 M$ each including premium, a Packard coupe of 1934 and a Mercedes Benz cabriolet of 1936)

Bonhams is often well positioned in vehicle auctions; they announced for April 27 in Stafford two exceptional motorcycles: one Brough 1934 at 120 K £ (SOLD 150 K£ before fees) and one Coventry-Eagle 1928 at 50 K £. (SOLD 90 K£ before fees).


Christie's London ad for Feb. 4 a sale on surrealism, familiar subject in French sales but perhaps less common in other countries. Before the consignment deadline, they already announced a typical mixed oil sketch by Picabia of interesting size (165x91 cm). (SOLD 1.4 M£ including premium)

Immediately afterwards on February 6, Christie's London present the first sale of the year when the works are likely to be placed in the top 100 in 2008. The Gerhard Richter presented in the press release seems still expensive at its 6 M £ low estimate. Its ambiguous character could appeal, but it is a small size for a Richter (115x160 cm). (SOLD 7.3 M£ including premium)Also announced: a Basquiat from the best period to 5 million pounds (SOLD 6.5 M£ including premium)and a Judy Garland by Warhol to 2 million pounds.(SOLD 2.1 M£ including premium)

On February 5, Bonhams London devotes an entire sale to the tag art, featuring the new controversial artist, Banksy, who began in 2007 to record bidding frenzy in London and even in Vienna. (SOLD "Laugh now", spencil spray paint on painted board, 107x604 cm, 190 K£ before fees ; one element of same character, 43x43 cm, 62 K£ before fees)
Among other artists, let us cite Anthony Micaleff (SOLD between 1.7 and 2.2 K£) and Paul Insect. Bonhams mentions that Damien Hirst has purchased a comprehensive exhibition of the works of Paul Insect last year, canceling it de facto. The title of Paul's work presented by Bonhams stirs curiosity: Elvis, from the Dead Rebels Series. Artprice knows only one painting by this artist now in his thirties and Artvalue none. I do not believe even for a while in the Bonhams estimate: 5 K £. (SOLD 12 K£)

A major charity auction for which eminent artists gave works on the theme of red, will be held on February 14 in New York. Damien Hirst himself (him again!) solicited donor artists. Hirst is not only a major artist but also as a key person in the art market. Sotheby's will hold the hammer.(SOLD 6.2 M$ before fees a pill cabinet by Hirst).

Doyle New York organizes an annual sale on dog related art. The next will take place on February 12. (SOLD 193 K$ fees included a painting by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge showing dogs playing poker).

At Drouot Montaigne on March 15, the auction house EVE presents a Monet at 400 K € (SOLD 510 K€ before fees) and a Vuillard at 300 K €. (SOLD 450 K€ before fees). These estimates are low despite a good pedigree, wait and see the works.


Bowers and Merena regularly auction coins in Florida and California, but mostly get excellent results at the quarterly Coin and Currency Convention in Baltimore. Next Balto sale is from February 27 to March 2. (SOLD 705 K$ including fees a 1870 silver 1 dollar which was once in King Farouk collection). The coin market is doing quite well in the United States: in its stronghold state of Texas, Heritage recorded very good results in a sale organized on the occasion of the Inaugural Houston Money Show of the Southwest.

Antiquorum manages a thematic auction in New York on 17 and 18 April on "ROLEX -evolution of the sports watch." (see column dated February 16).

Christie's announced the voluntary dispersal in 3 sales in New York from April 2008 to April 2009, of the collection of photographs owned by Bruce and Nancy Berman. The first sale will be devoted to Diane Arbus (Press Release, November 30). (highest SOLD 115 K$ including fees). Curiously, Phillips de Pury had just announced (Press Release, 26 November) the sale of 20 prints of the same vintage photographer for the same month. (cancelled ; SOLD 181 K$ a photo by Diane Arbus from another owner).

An original sale at low prices: the collection of exotic textiles owned by Lord McAlpine, at Bonhams London on February 12. (SOLD 2.9 K£ before fees a textile from Ghana).

FRANCE (unless otherwise specified: information below was collected in advertisements in La Gazette de l'Hotel Drouot):
Taking the opportunity of the Prix d'Amérique, Millon organize an art sale on "trotteur" horses (books, bronzes, prints, paintings, drawings), Jan. 26. This auction house also regularly sells racehorses. (SOLD a big bronze by Du Passage 35 K€ before fees).
Blanchet announced 40 works by Gleizes for January 30, but that presented in their ad in La Gazette is a small paper work. This is an opportunity to check an artist who lost some of his previous poplularity in recent years.(SOLD 29.2 K€ before fees).
Beaussant Lefèvre sells Feb. 14 about thirty dresses and various consignments from the wife of Paul Poiret.(SOLD 80 K€ before fees a woolen coat inspired by North Africa and 42 K € before fees a purple afternoon dress).
The rest of French calendar looks similar to one year ago:
modern paintings in Honfleur on January 1 (Dupuy) (SOLD a portrait of Coquelin as an artist by Béraud, 84 K€ before fees, and a very small (22x16 cm) portrait of a Greek woman by Rallis 30,5 K€ before fees).
and at Pescheteau-Badin January 27, (SOLD welded metal artifacts by Richard Stankiewicz, 10 K€ before fees).
primitive arts February 19 (Tajan) (no significant result),
ceramics and glass February 20(Camard) (SOLD 19.5 K€ before fees a vase by Simmen),
fashion jewelry March 30 (Robert, VAEP). (SOLD 5,8 K€ before fees a modernist American jewel by Art Smith).
Drouot Presse announced a sale on aviation (Boisgirard, Jan. 27). (no significant result)

Pierre Tavlitzki, ArtHitParade, December 12, 2007