A Giacometti bronze sets the new world record price for a single work of art at auction

Alberto Giacometti 'Walking Man I', Sotheby's London lot #8, February 3, 2010

Alberto Giacometti 'Walking Man I', Sotheby's London lot #8, February 3, 2010

On February 3, 2010, Sotheby’s London held their Impressionist and Modern Art sale, with impressive results. 31 of the 39 lots sold, grossing a total of $229 million. The top lot of the sale, a bronze scupture by Alberto Giacometti entitled “Walking Man I”, set a world record for the most expensive single item of art ever sold at auction, when it sold for $101,426,070, including buyer’s premium. The guesswork is that it was purchased by one of Russia’s new billionaires. It’s interesting to point out that the new world record holder is not a unique item. It was cast in 1961 and numbered two of six. I guess that means there are five other owners with big smiles on their faces, although most of the others are in museum collections.

Gustav Klimt - Church in Cassone - Landscape with Cypresses, Sotheby's London lot 13, February 3, 2010

Gustav Klimt - Church in Cassone - Landscape with Cypresses, Sotheby's London lot 13, February 3, 2010

The next best result went to Gustav Klimt, with a painting entitled “Church in Cassone – Landscape with Cypresses”. It sold for $42 million, including buyer’s premium, more than double the pre-sale estimate of $19-28 million.

Pitcher and Fruit on a Table by Paul Cézanne, Sotheby's London lot #5, February 3, 2010

Pitcher and Fruit on a Table by Paul Cézanne, Sotheby's London lot #5, February 3, 2010

Third best was a still life by Paul Cézanne, which sold for $18,413,075, including buyer’s premium, within the pre-sale estimate of $15.5-23 million.

I think I’m in the wrong business. No Tiffany lamp has ever sold for more than a couple of million dollars at auction. No Gallé vase has ever sold for more than a couple of hundred thousand dollars. Just one or two billionaires is all I need.

I’m taking a lot of time to add new items to my website. I’ve already listed new items under Gallé glass (including a blownout vase), Daum Nancy glass and Tiffany Studios glass. Soon I’ll be adding many Tiffany Studios desk pieces. Please take a look, as every day I’m adding more. Click on this link chasenantiques.com.

Please send me your suggestions or questions about art glass, lamps, Louis Icart, shows, auctions, etc. If it’s interesting, I’ll answer your question in a future blog entry.

Call or write and let me know what you would like to buy, sell, or trade. philchasen@gmail.com or
516-922-2090. And please visit my website. chasenantiques.com

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