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Sotheby’s Slog: Lackluster Impressionist/Modern Sale UPDATED

Simon Shaw and David Norman of Sotheby's fielding clients' phone bids at tonight's Impressionist/modern sale

Screenshot of Simon Shaw and David Norman of Sotheby’s, fielding clients’ phone bids at tonight’s Impressionist/modern sale

You know it’s a boring evening when the most exciting aspect of the just concluded Sotheby’s Impressionist/modern sale (which I previewed here) was the first-time use of multiple cameras, allowing those of us viewing the sale online to see not only the auctioneer but also the auction-house officials fielding phone bids.

This not only provides a livelier viewing experience for armchair auctiongoers, but also shows that bids were real, not “chandelier.”

It’s not that the sale didn’t do reasonably well. It’s just that the offerings were largely humdrum and the pace was slow. A smattering of applause did break out for the $37-million hammer price (against a  presale estimate of $25-35 million) for Cézanne‘s “Apples.” (Final price, with buyer’s premium: $41.6 million.)

UPDATE: The sale’s hammer total was $199.68 million, comfortably within the presale estimate of $162.45-235.1 million. The total with buyer’s premium was $230.04 million. The sale was a reasonably solid 84.5% sold by lot and an impressive 95.2% sold by dollar.

The final price list (which includes buyer’s premium) is here.

I commend you to the Wall Street Journal‘s Kelly Crow and the NY TimesCarol Vogel for post-auction wrap-ups tonight. I may do a summation of the major sales at a later date.

NOTE: I apologize that the CultureGrrl Video at the end of my last post was not publicly accessible. I’ve adjusted the settings and it is viewable now.

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