FREUD SELLS FOR £7.86 MILLION ($15.6 MILLION / €11.6 MILLION) AT CHRISTIE’S £74 MILLION RECORD SALE Christie’s auction realises £74.1 million ($147.3 million / € 109.6million), the highest ever total for the category in Europe.
Lucian Freud’s portrait of Bruce Bernard realises $15.6 million
News-Antique.com - Jun 21,2007 - London – Christie’s record-breaking auction of Post-War and Contemporary Art on 20 June 2007 realised £74,072,800 / $147,256,726 / €109,553,671, a record total for any auction in this category in Europe. The top lot of the sale was a portrait of Bruce Bernard by Lucian Freud (b.1922) which sold for £7,860,000 ($15,625,680/ €11,624,940), a world record price at auction for any work by a living European artist and a world record price for the artist at auction.
The fast-paced sale saw auction records broken, including those for Lucian Freud, Piero Manzoni, Michael Andrews and Antoni Tàpies among others, as international clients competed for the works on offer. Buyer activity at the auction was 25% United Kingdom, 37% rest of Europe, 27% Americas, 10% Asia and 1% Middle East (by lot). The auction was 91% sold by value and 89% by lot against a pre-sale estimate of £54 to £76 million.
Pilar Ordovas, Director and Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art at Christie’s in London, said: “This evening’s record results demonstrate Christie’s continuing leadership of the Post-War and Contemporary art market. In the last six months at Christie’s in London, we have sold over £165 million of Post-War and Contemporary Art and established a record total for the category in Europe on two successive occasions, firstly in February and then again tonight. This demonstrates a confident market which responds with strength when works of quality and freshness are offered at Christie’s. We are particularly pleased with the result realized by Lucian Freud’s exceptional portrait of Bruce Bernard which drew interest from a huge number of international clients and was subject to fierce competition in the saleroom before selling for £7.86 million. We look forward to tomorrow’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale.”
This evening’s auction is one of a series of five sales of Impressionist and Modern Art and Post-War and Contemporary Art at Christie’s this week. With a combined pre-sale estimate of between £172 and £241 million, this is the most important and valuable week of auctions ever held in Europe. This evening’s results build on the success of Monday’s auction of Impressionist and Modern Art which realized £121 million ($240 million / €178 million), a record total for any auction ever held in Europe. The Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale will take place on 21 June 2007 from 10am at Christie’s King Street salerooms.
Highlights of this evening’s sale:
- Lucian Freud’s (b.1922) portrait of Bruce Bernard sold for £7,860,000 ($15,625,680/ €11,624,940), a world record price at auction for any work by a living European artist and a world record price for the artist at auction. Painted in 1992, this work was a highlight of The Elaine and Melvin Merians Collection, from which a selection of nineteen works were sold at this evening’s auction for a total of £16,815,600 ($33,429,412 / €24,870,272). Bruce Bernard, who died in 2000, was a close friend of the artist for many years and a highly respected picture editor of The Sunday Times