Snacks Tonight #20

March 2, 2019

 

Tonight I made a Brit-style bread pudding.  Turned out really well.  I was too lazy to make creme anglais (the perfect accompaniment) but it was very good with creme fraiche.

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Night Music: Lowdown

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Wise Words

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February Art Sales — Follow Up

March 2, 2019

A couple of weeks ago, I highlighted (here and here) a short series of auctions in London and New York that would probably indicate the health of the upper end art market.  Well, the sales took place and the news — for collectors and speculators alike — was mostly positive.

At the Sotheby’s Impressionist-Modern sale, followed immediately by a Surrealist catalog, more than 80% of the lots were sold for a total of $116.3 million. The Surrealist market appeared softer than the Impressionists, with 5 lots unsold. As expected, Monet’s Le Palais Ducal and Magritte’s L’Etoile du Matin were the highpoints of each sale, selling for $36.4 million and $7.05 million respectively.

The following day, Christie’s triple-header — Hidden Treasures, Impressionist & Modern, and The Art of the Surreal — brought in $219.5 million with 82% of the lots selling.  In the first section, a Matisse failed to sell at its lower estimate of $6 million, but Cezanne’s Nature morte et peches et poires went for $28.2 million.

In the Impressionists’ sale, the first lot, a Degas, sold for $5.6 million, nearly four times the pre-sale estimate. But, as expected, the high price of the section was Paul Sigac’s glorious Le Port au soliel couchant which was sold for $25.9 million.

The Art of the Surreal section featured Magritte’s Le lieu commun, which sold for $21.2 million, right in the middle of the pre-sales estimate range.

The last day of this three-day sales binge belonged to Christies but there sales were aimed at a different market. Their Contemporary Edition sale realised $1.75 million with $87,500 being the highest priced lot, a lithograph by Julie Mehretu. The Impressionist and Modern Art Sale saw sales total 16.7 million pounds.  The feature sale was a rather old-fashioned Renoir called Vase d’anemones for more than double its estimate.

 

All in all, I suspect these sales met most expectations and didn’t disappoint.  Now we look forward to the $50 million Rothko and the $50 million Rauschenberg we are promised for this summer.