Lacklustre mood at Sotheby’s
Most lots sold for under or around low estimates
By Melanie Gerlis. From Frieze daily edition
Published online: 14 October 2011
london. Credit must be given to Sotheby’s (and its fast-paced auctioneer Oliver Barker) who managed to sell an uneven selection of works at last night’s contemporary art sale.
The mood was lacklustre as most of the lots sold for under or around their low estimates, after bidding from only one or two parties—but sometimes that is all it takes.
One of the higher quality lots, Lucian Freud’s finely painted 1952 Boy’s Head portrait of his young neighbour Charlie Lumley, sold on its second bid for a hammer price of £2.8m, under its £3m-£4m estimate that dealers felt was “punchy”.
Of the 47 lots on offer, 11 went unsold, a respectable sell through rate of 77%. The sale total was £17.8m (once premium was added), just below its £19.1m-£26.6m pre-sale estimate.
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