Monday, 7 November 2011

Sotheby’s Impressionist art



Transcript:

The audience that packed into Sotheby's, New York was not disappointed. The auction house's autumn Impressionist sale was a roaring success, with top lot, Gustav Klimt's "Litzleberg am Attersee" selling at a hammer price of 36 million U.S. dollars -- well above its low estimate of 25 million. And the total for the auction was far above that for the same sale last year. Co-chairman for impressionist art for Sotheby's, David Norman, says he thinks the market is strong and that's reassuring buyers. SOUNDBITE: David Norman, co-chairman, Impressionist and Modern Art worldwide for Sotheby's, saying (English): "To reach a 200 million dollar (USD) total, well in excess of our last equivalent season, within our estimate and set a variety of records was just enormously gratifying and as one of my colleagues said earlier, the market, which was a little bit shaky yesterday, really roared back today." The sale's success came just 24 hours after rival auction house Christie's slumped with their Impressionist sale. Bidding for several top artworks including the sale's star, Degas' "Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans" was weak and the lot was eventually passed. Norman says he puts Sotheby's success down to accurate estimates. SOUNDBITE: David Norman, co-chairman, Impressionist and Modern Art worldwide for Sotheby's, saying (English): "I think it's a very savvy audience, very selective. I think they want to buy art, certainly like we saw tonight, but they won't tolerate estimates that are too high. When something was estimated correctly, the bidders were incredibly responsive. And if one day can make such a difference, art market followers are keen to see how next week's New York postwar and contemporary auctions will fare. Tara Cleary, Reuters
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