Warhol rules at $301.6 million Christie's sale

  • May 11, 2011 22:49

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Andy Warhol, Self-portrait, 1963-64. Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, via Christie's.

A bidding battle over a blue Andy Warhol sent the 1963-64 self-portrait to a final price of $38.4 million—well over the $30 million high estimate—at Christie's on Wednesday night.

Bidders also confidently pursued Mark Rothko's “Untitled No. 17,” from 1961, to $33.6 million, above its $22 million high estimate. This previously unknown canvas has not yet been added to the Rothko catalogue raisonne (although it's been given the nod by Rothko expert David Anfam).

Of the 65 works on offer, only three failed to sell. The Christie's auction totaled $301.6 million, above its high $299.2 million estimate.

The results far surpassed Sotheby’s sale on Tuesday night, which totaled $128.1 million, just above its low $120 million estimate. Of the 58 works at auction, 9 failed to sell.

A Jeff Koons sculpture depicting a topless blonde cuddling the Pink Panther fetched $16.9 million. Touted as one of Koons' most important works, the porcelain Pop culture piece, made in 1988, failed to reach its low estimate of $20 million.

The consignor was publisher Benedikt Taschen who had been guaranteed an undisclosed amount through a third-party irrevocable bid.

Read more at New York Times

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