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Monday, March 29, 2010

Mid-Season Impressionism at Sotheby's

Jennifer Roth, Director of Fine Arts, commented, “We were very pleased with the results of today’s sale which made $3,528,439 off an estimate of $2,683,000/3,887,000. The sale was distinguished by a wide range of bidding  for many types of paintings, from classic Impressionist images such as Renoir’s Portrait de Fille, which brought the sale’s top price of $122,500 (est. $30/40,000), to expressionist images by Bernard Buffet, such as Le Panier de Fruits, which brought $68,500 (est. $25/35,000).  One of the fascinating highlights in this sale was a 3 1/2 inch, jewel-like bronze by Auguste Rodin from the collection of American sculptor Malvina Hoffman. An amalgam of the Head of St. John the Baptist and the Hand of Salome, it is one of only two casts known, both made in during the artist’s life. The miniature sculpture was remarkable in its impeccable detail and intriguing in its modest scale. It too sold for $68,500 (est. $10/15,000). Property from private collections and estates performed particularly well, such as Property from the Parker Ranch Foundation Trust, WaimeaHawai’i. All ten works offered from the Trust were sold with the total making over the high pre-sale estimate. The same result was achieved for six works from an estate sold to benefit The Johns Hopkins UniversityProperty from the Patti Birch Trust continued to fare well with two paintings from Zoran Music’s series We Are Not the Last appearing among the top ten sold lots. Russian bidders drove up prices for Goncharova and Larionov and  fifteen of fifteen works by David Burliuk found buyers. Also receiving strong interest was French Post-Impressionist artist Pierre Eugène Montézin, with all eight oil paintings by this artist finding buyers.”

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