New York – A historic sale week at Christie's in New York concluded Thursday, November 16, with the final total across seven sales reaching $1,421,993,000 (£1,082,817,271 / €1,208,823,074). The total represents near-record sales totals for both of Christie’s Evening Sales of Impressionist & Modern and Post-War & Contemporary art. The top lot of the week and the main attraction at Christie’s Rockefeller Center galleries was Leonardo da Vinci’s 500-year-old masterpiece Salvator Mundi which sold for $450.3 million after an epic 19-minute bidding battle involving six different clients. The price set a new record high for any work of art in auction history.
The depth and quality of art offered across the week drew more than 30,000 visitors to Christie’s galleries. Collectors from the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East participated in the sales, representing 34 different countries. In total, nine works sold above $10 million, a further eight sold above $20 million, and three achieving more than $50 million.
Marc Porter, Chairman of Christie’s Americas, commented: “There was a fantastic spirit of camaraderie at Christie’s this week, as our global team converged in New York to achieve great results on behalf of our consignors. The outstanding artworks collected by the Bass, Eppler and Simpson families formed the core of our offerings this week and we saw clients from all our major regions respond favorably to great provenance, rarity and superlative quality. I am exceedingly proud of our Christie’s team, and their innovative and collaborative approach to engaging collectors and art-enthusiasts. This has been a remarkable season for engagement with great artworks - whether in person or digitally through our online and social media channels - and we were pleased to welcome new audiences of art enthusiasts into our Christie’s community.”
Impressionist and Modern Art
20th Century Week at Christie’s got off to a strong start with Monday's Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale. Featuring museum-quality works by Monet, Vuillard, Van Gogh, Léger, Picasso and Magritte, the auction realized $479,320,250/ £366,172,842/ €410,845,929 (88% by lot/ 96% by value) — the second highest total for an Evening Sale of Impressionist & Modern Art in Christie’s history. For a replay of the sale, visit Christie’s Facebook Live feed.
The top lot of the night was Vincent van Gogh’s Laboureur dans un champ, a richly painted view from the window of the artist’s room in Saint-Rémy. After a prolonged bidding battle, the painting was finally acquired for $81,312,500, the second highest auction price ever achieved for the artist.
The second highest price of the night was Fernand Léger’s Contraste de formes that sold for $70,062,500, eclipsing the previous world auction record for the artist. New world record auction prices were also set for works by Jean Crotti, Suzanne Duchamp, Édouard Vuillard, René Magritte and Emil Nolde.
The Van Gogh masterwork was one of a number of major paintings offered from The Collection of Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass, which realized $143,432,500 on the first night, and finished the week with a total of $161,314,750.
Additional Impressionist and Modern Art Collections Included:
Collection of William Kelly Simpson
The Collection of Stanford Z. Rothschild
Impressionist and Modern Art Day and Online Sale Totals
Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale: $35,836,125 / £227,376,719 / €30,661,925 (78% by lot / 84% by value)
Works on Paper: $15,116,625 / £11,548,224 / €12,934,011(78% by lot / 84% by value)
Picasso Ceramics Online Only Sale: $1,418,125 / £1,077,603 / €1,199,372 (100% sold)
Post-War & Contemporary Art
A near-record sale total was achieved at Christie’s Evening Sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art, which realized $785,942,250 / £597,220,555 / €664,706,477 (84% by lot/ 94% by value) — the second highest total for a sale in this category. The top Post-War and Contemporary Art prices were achieved by Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly and Mark Rothko.
The superb American Abstract Expressionist works from The Eppler Family Collection — the first comprehensive survey to be offered at auction since 2012 — were led by Franz Kline’s Light Mechanic. The collection realised $71,593,500 across the week.
Ten artist auction records were set in the Evening Sale for works by Adam Pendleton, Philippe Parreno, Kerry James Marshall, Lee Krasner, Hans Hofmann, William Baziotes, Isamu Noguchi, Vija Celmins, and Julian Schnabel. Further records by medium were set for works by Alexander Calder, Mark Rothko, Jean Dubuffet and Richard Serra.
To watch a playback of this historic auction, see Christie’s Facebook Live feed.
Additional Post-War & Contemporary Art Collections Included:
The Collection of Melva Bucksbaum
Beyond Boundaries: Avant-Garde Masterworks from a European Collection
Post War and Contemporary Art Day and Online Sale Totals
Post-War and Contemporary Art Morning Session - $62,262,625 / £47,384,037 / €52,785,818 (86% by lot/ 91% by value)
World auction records set by:
- Morris Louis
Post-War and Contemporary Art Afternoon Session - $42,097,000 / £32,037,291 / €35,689,542 (87% by lot/ 90% by value)
World auction records set by:
- Magdalena Abakanowicz
- Karin Mamma Andersson
- Edmund de Waal
- Sari Dienes
- Tom Otterness
- Donald Roller Wilson
- David Wojnarowicz
- Martin Wong
Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction, private and digital sales in 2018 that totalled £5.3 billion / $7 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.
Alongside regular sales online, Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries, with 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.
*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.
*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.