Demi Moore’s payday at Sotheby’s 19th Century European Art sale is good, but not quite what she had hoped

Today, November 4, 2010, Sotheby’s held their 19th Century European Art sale with decent results that included one sensational one. Two of the lots belonged to the actress Demi Moore. She had purchased them at a Christie’s auction in 1995 and consigned them for sale at this Sotheby’s auction.

Frère et Soeur by William Bougeureau, Sotheby's lot #23

The first was a lovely painting of a sister and brother by William Bouguereau, for which Moore had paid $178,500. It sold below the estimate of $1,000,000-1,500,000, but totaled $1,082,500, after including the buyer’s premium. The buyer’s premium belongs to the auction house, so Moore will likely receive a figure in the $850,000-$900,000 range, after seller’s fees are deducted. Not a bad payday after 15 years, but below the hoped for price within or above the estimate.

Mère et Ses Enfants by Alfred Stevens, Sotheby's lot #24

Her second painting, by Alfred Stevens, did not fare as well. Moore paid $200,500 in 1995. The painting sold for $182,500, including buyer’s premium, so Moore is likely to receive a figure in the $135,000-$150,000 price range, after seller’s fees are deducted. Taken together, her investment of $379,000 in 1995 will return approximately $1,017,500. Most people would be very satisfied with that kind of return.

The Finding of Moses by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Sotheby's lot #56

Anything can happen at auction, good or bad, but the good results generally make the news. A huge, 53¾” by 84″ painting by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, estimated to sell for $3-5,000,000, brought the astounding price of $35,922,500, including buyer’s premium. A result like that is the same as winning the lottery — it doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it makes for one happy winner.

For the complete results of the sale, click on the following link, Sotheby’s 19th Century European Art sale.

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