Surreal and Impressionist masterpieces bring $138 million at Christie's

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2016-02-03 10:48:13

Surreal and Impressionist masterpieces brought eight-figure sums at Christie's last night (February 2), as the auction house recorded a result of more than $138 million.

The company's London Evening Sales of Impressionist and Modern Art and The Art of the Surreal saw 34 works achieve prices of more than $1 million, on the way to a final combined total of £95,917,100 ($138,024,707) and a sell-through rate of 87% by value.

The highest price of the evening was achieved by Max Ernst's 1941 painting The Stolen Mirror. Described as a "surrealist technical tour-de-force", and regarded as one of Ernst's finest works, the museum-quality painting achieved a final price of $10,997,558.

Another notable highlight was Self-Portrait with Spread Fingers, an important early work by Egon Schiele painted in his breakthrough year of 1908, which sold for $10,433,470.

Further strong results included Les mariés de la Tour Eiffel by Marc Chagall which realized $10,111,134; Femme et oiseaux dans la nuit by Joan Miró which sold for $8,338,286; Le moteur by Fernand Léger which fetched $7,532,446; and Ferme en Normandie, été (Hattenville) by Paul Cézanne which sold for $7,371,278.

Amongst the top results were two new artist auction records for Georg Scholz and Peter Rose Pulham, and a new record price for a work on paper by Salvador Dalí.

"We are pleased with the total realised this evening and with the high sell-through rate by value, accompanied by the solid sell-through rate by lot," said Jay Vincze, International Director and Head of The Impressionist and Modern Art Department, and Olivier Camu, Deputy Chairman of Impressionist and Modern Art.

"We had strong interest across price levels and periods, from Paul Cezanne’s 1882 work ‘Ferme en Normandie, été (Hattenville)’, through to Joan Miró’s 1968 ‘Femme et oiseaux dans la nuit’. With registered bidders from 35 countries across 5 continents demonstrating the continued breadth of interest in the category, we continued to welcome strong participation from Asia, America and Europe."

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