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Impressionist & Modern Art Auction
Sotheby's
7 PM, November 4, 2014
Sale 9219

Chariot by Giacometti


Lot 25, "Chariot," by Alberto Giacometti, painted bronze on wooden base, 57 inches high, conceived in 1950 and cast in 1952, numbered 2/6  

By Carter B. Horsley

The November 4, 2014 evening auction of Impressionist & Modern Art at Sotheby's is highlighted by major sculptures by Giacometti and Modigliani, a very good floral painting by Van Gogh, a nice group of landscapes by Monet and numerous good works by Picasso.

The top lot is 25, "Chariot," a 57-inch high painted bronze of a woman on a chariot, by Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966).  It was conceived in 1950 and cast in 1952 and is number 2/6.  It was estimated to sell for more than $100,000,000.  It had been consigned by Alexander Goulandris, a member of a Greek shipping family.

The bidding opened at $80,000,000 to the general astonishment of the crowded auction room and auctioneer Henry Wyndham rattled off a few bids from the ceiling before David Norman, co-chairman of Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art Department, bid $90,000,000 for a bidder on the telephone.  There were no other bids.  The winning bidder paid $100,965,000 including the auction house's commission.  All sales prices mentioned in this article include the commission.

On November 11, 2014 The New York Post reported that the winning bidder was Steve Cohen, the head of a hedge fund, who had provided a guarantee for the work.


Detail of Giacometti's "Chariot"

Detail of Lot 25

The catalogue entry for the lot described it as "perhaps the most important bronze that the artist created," adding that it "would become a heroic emblem of Post-War renewal."  "Locked in place despite the large apparatus of propulsion, the figure is Giacometti's attempt to crystallize the Existentialist philosophy that dominated Post-War Paris.  Of the six works in this series, only this one and another at the Nelson-Atkins Gallery in Kansas City are painted.  

Auctioneer Wyndham selling Modigliani


Auctioneer Henry Wyndham waiting for David Norman on the phone center to make bid on Giacometti's "Chariot"

Other casts are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Alberto Giacometti-Stiftung, Kunsthaus in Zurich. In her November 5, 2014 article in The New York Times, Carol Vogel noted that "for months experts had predicted that there would be a flurry of sky-high bids sure to topped the $104.3-million that Lily Safra, the London-based billionaire, had paid at Sotheby's London just four years ago for another Giacometti, "Walking Man I....So when there was a lone bidder willing to pay nearly $101 million, it felt like a disappointment."  Her article added that Joee Mugrabi, a dealer, said that "everybody was expecting more...but it's still a fantastic price," something of an understatement considering that there are five other casts.


David Norman and Simon Shaw

Simon Shaw discussing results at post-sale news conference with David Norman at left

The auction was quite successful with 58 of 71, 79.4 percent, offered lots selling for $422,109,999,  Sotheby's highest auction total ever.  After the sale, Simon Shaw of Sotheby's said that there had been registered bidders from 40 countries and that there had been "terrific activity from Asia."

Giacometti painting

Lot 69, "Coin d'atelier avec poele et balai," by Alberto Giacometti, oil on canvas, 36 by 28 1/2 inches, 1961

Lot 69 is a very nice grisaille, 1961 oil on canvas by Giacometti entitled "Coin d'atelier avec poele et balai."  It measures 36 by 28 1/2 inches. It was once in the collection of the Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington. It has an estimate of $1,000,000 to $1,500,000.  It was passed at $900,000!  Go figure!


Head by Modigliani

Lot 8, "Tête," by Amedeo Modigliani, stone, 28 3/4 inches high, 1912

Another sculpture, Lot 8, "Tête," by Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) did extremely well.   The 28 3/4 inch high stone work was carved in 1912 and sold for $70,725,000.  It was one of about two dozen that he carved and had been expected to sell for about $45 million as another one sold for about $52 million in June, 2010 in Paris.  Augustus John, the painter, had acquired this sculpture from the artist in 1912 and it has been widely published.  The catalogue said it was the finest one remaining in private hands.  It sold for $70,725,000.


Van Gogh flowers

Lot 17, "Nature Morte, Vase auix marguerites et coquelicots," by Vincent Van Gogh, oil on canvas, 26 by 20 1/8 inches, 1890

Lot 17 is an 1890 floral still life by Vincent Van Gogh (18563-1890).  It measures 26 by 20 1/8 inches.  It once belonged to Anson Conger Goodyear and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo.  It has been widely published and exhibited.  


Detail of Van Gogh's flowers

Detail of Lot 17

It has a modest estimate of $30,000,000 to $50,000,000.  It sold for $61,765,000.

Lot 56, another work by Van Gogh entitled "Le Droguerie de Limandes, Scheveningen," an 1882 opaque and transparent watercolor, graphite, pen and ink on wove paper paper pasted on cardboard,  has a modest estimate of $4,000,000 to $6,000,000.  It has been widely exhibited and published and measures 14 1/4 by 20 1/2 inches and is quite handsome.  It was passed at $3,200,000.


Charlie Moffett and Monet

David Norman of Sotheby's discussing Lot 29, "Alice Hoschedé au jardin," by Claude Monet

According to Ms. Vogel's article three Monets in the auction were consigned by James J. Clark, founder of Netscape Communications Corporation.  Lot 29 is a pleasant oil on canvas by Claude Monet (1840-1925) entitled Alice Hoschedé au jardin."  It measures 31 7/8 by 25 1/2 inches and was painted in 1881.  It has been widely exhibited and published and was once in the collection of C. Douglas Dillon.  The woman was the artist's 37-year-old lover at the time and the wife of his close friend and patron, Ernst Hoschedé.   The garden was the artist's in Vétjeuil.  The painting has an estimate of $25,000,000 to $35,000,000.  It sold for $33,765,000.


Monet yellow field


Lot 28, "Sous les peupliers," by Claude Monet, oil on canvas, 28 3/4 by 36 1/4 inches, 1887

An even prettier Monet is Lot 28, "Sous les peupliers," a 1887 oil on canvas that measures 28 3/4 by 36 1/4 inches.  It was once in the collection of Bertha and Potter Palmer of Chicago, who had acquired 33 Monets from Durand-Ruel between 1891 and 1893, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Thomas J. Watson of New York.  It has a modest estimate of $12,000,000 to $18,000,000.  It sold for $20,325,000.

River by Monet


Lot 30, "Eglise de Vernon, soleil," by Claude Monet, oil on canvas, 26 by 36 7/8 inches, 1894

A third Monet, Lot 30, "Eglise de Vernon, soleil," is an oil on canvas that measures 26 by 36 7/8 inches.  It was painted in 1894.  It has an estimate of $7,000,000 to $9,000,000.  It sold for $7,781,000.


Monet angle

Lot 20, "Le Jardin de Vétheuil," by Claude Monet, oil on canvas, 23 1/2 by 29 1/4 inches, 1881

Another good Monet landscape, Lot 20, "Le Jardin de Vétheuil," dates to 1881 and is an oil on canvas that measures 23 1/2 by 29 1/4 inches.  It has a modest estimate of $4,000,000 to $5,000,000.  It sold for $7,557,000.


Gauguin

Lot 52, "Les Mas, environs d'Artles," by Paul Gauguin, oil on canvas, 28 7/8 by 34 1/4 inches, 1888

Lot 52 is a fine landscape by Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) entitled "Les Mas, environs d'Arles."  An oil on canvas, it measures 28 7/8 by 36 1/4 inches and was painted in 1888.  Gauguin's landscapes are very rich and complex compositions with interesting palettes of which this is an excellent example.  It is one of 17 works he painted while staying with Vincent Van Gogh in Arles.

Gauguin detail

Detail of Lot 52

It has a modest estimate of $4,000,000 to $6,000,000.  It sold for $5,429,000.


Sisley


Lot 12, "Le Loing à Moret," by Alfred Sisley, oil on canvas, 20 1/8 by 25 3/4 inches, 1883

Lot 12 is an excellent Impressionist landscape by Alfred Sisley (1839-1899).  Entitled "Le Loing à Moret," it is an oil on canvas that measures 20 1/8  by 25 3/4 inches.  It was was painted in 1883.  It has a modest estimate of $2,000,000 to $3,000,000.  It sold for $4,869,000.


Signac

Lot 21, "Le Thonier enttrant à La Rochelle (Couchant)," by Paul Signac, oil on canvas, 28 3/4 by 36 1/4 inches, 1927

Lot 21 is a good oil on canvas by Paul Signac (1863-1935).  "Entitled "Le Thonier entrant à La Rochelle (Couchant)," it measures 28 3/4 by 36 1/4 inches and was painted in 1927.  It was sold at Sotheby's May 6, 2003 for $1,576,000.  The estimate this time was $3,000,000 to $5,000,000.  It sold for $3,525,000.


Munch

Lot 62, "Furuskog (Pine Forest)," by Edvard Munch, oil on canvas, 23 by 28 1/2 inches, 1892

Lot 62 is an excellent landscape oil on canvas by Edvard Munch (1863-1944).  Entitled "Furuskog (Pine Forest)," it measures 23 by 28 1/2 inches and was painted in 1892.  It has a very modest estimate of $1,000,000 to $1,500,000.  It was passed at $880,000.


Picasso yellows

Lot 22, "Homme Assis," by Pablo Picasso, oil on canvas, 51 by 38 inches, 1969

Lot 22, "Homme Assis," is a strong oil on canvas by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) that measures 51 by 38 inches.,  It was painted in 1969 and was with the family of the artist's sister, Lola Ruiz Picasso Vitato.  It has an estimate of $8,000,000 to $12,000,000.  It sold for $11,365,000.


Picasso pink curls

Lot 31, "Tête d'homme à la pipe," by Pablo Picasso, oil on corrugated cardboard. 38 by 25 1/2 inches, 1969

Lot 31 is a colorful work by Picasso entit;led "Tête d'homme à la pipe."  An oil on corrugated cardboard, it measures 38 by 25 1/2 inches and was painted in 1969.  It has an estimate of $4,000,000 to $6,000,000.

Detail of Picasso's pink curls

Detail of Lot 31

It sold for $4,421,000.



Picasso child

Lot 44, "Les Enfants," by Pablo Picasso, oil on canvas, 51 by 64 inches, 1956

Lot 44 is a good Picasso entitled "Les Enfants."  An oil on canvas that measures 51 by 64 inches, it was painted in 1956.  It has an estimate of $5,000,000 to $7,000,000.  It was passed at $4,600,000.
Picasso head

Lot 48, "Tête d'homme," by Pablo Picasso, oil on canvas, 18 7/8 by 15 inches, 1965

Lot 48 is a strong head of a man by Pablo Picasso, an oil on canvas that measures 18 7/8 by 15 inches.

Detail of Picasso head

Detail of Lot 48

It was painted in 1965.  It has an estimate of $1,500,000 to $2,000,000.  It sold for $1,805,000.


Picasso birds

Lot 10, "Deux Hirondelles," by Pablo Picasso, oil on canvas, 16 inches square, 1932

Lot 120 is a sprightly Picasso oil on canvas entitled "Deux Hirondelles."  It is 16 inches square and was painted in 1932.  It has an estimate of $1,200,000 to $1,800,000.  It sold for $2,045,000.

Picasso clown

Lot 63, "Bouffon et jeune acrobate," by Pablo Picasso, gouache and charcoal on paper, 23 3/4 by 18 3/4 inches, 1905

Lot 63 is a gouache and charcoal on paper by Picasso entitled "Bouffon et jeune acrobate."  It measures 23 3./4 by 18 3/4 inches and was painted in 1905.  It has an estimate of $2,000,000 to $2,500,000.  It was once in the collection of Justin K. Thannhauser of New York.  It sold for $5,989,000.

Derain landscape

Lot 61, "Paysage provencal," by André Derain, oil on canvas, 28 3/4 by 36 1/4 inches, 1907

Lot 61 is a very bold and excellent landscape by André Derain (1880-1954).  Entitled "Paysage provencal," the oil on canvas measures 28 3/4 by 36 1/4 inches and was painted in 1907.  It was once in the collection of Albert Skira, the great art book publisher.

Derain detail

Detail of Lot 61

 It has an estimate of $1,800,000 to $2,500,000.  It sold for $2,165,000.


Miro painting

Lot 32, "Oiseau, insecte, constellation," by Joan Miró, oil on canvas, 50 by 38 inches, 1974

Lot 32 is a large and dramatic abstraction by Joan Miró.  An oil on canvas, it measures 50 by 38 inches and was painted  in 1974.  It is entitled 'Oiseau, insecte, constellation."  It has an estimate of $2,000,000 to $3,000,000.  It sold for $2,285,000.  


Dubuffet

Lot 13, "Vieille reine et courtesan," by Jean Dubuffet,  oil on canvas, 45 1/2 by 34 1/2 inches, 1961

Lot 13 is an excellent and very colorful oil on canvas by Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) entitled "Vieille reine et courtesan."  It measures 45 1/2 by 34 1/2 inches and was painted in 1961.  It has an estimate of $800,000 to $1,200,000.  It sold for $2,045,000.


Max Ernst

Lot 43, "Muschenblumen," by Max Ernst, oil on canvas, 21 1/4 by 25 3/8 inches, 1928

Lot 43, "Muschenblumen," is a wonderful oil on canvas by Max Ernst (1891-1976).  It measures 21 1/4 by25 3/8 inches and was painted in 1928.  It was once in the collection of Kurt Valentin of New York and Pierre Schlumberger.  It has a modest estimate of 460,000 to $800,000.  It sold for $845,000.

Barbara Hepworth

Lot 35, "Coré," by Barbara Hepworth, Serravezza marble, 29 1/2 inches high, 1956


Lot 35 is a very lovely and sensuous Serravezza marble sculpture by Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975).  Entitled "Coré," it is 29 1/2 inches high and was created in 1956. It is property of Sao Schlumberger. It has an estimate of $800,000 to $1,200,000.  It sold for $2,165,000.

See The City Review article on the Fall 2014 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Christie's New York
See The City Review article on the Spring 2014 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's New York

See The City Review article on the Spring 2014 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Christie's New York
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See The City Review article on the Spring 2013 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Christie's New York
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See The City Review article on the Fall 2012 Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Sotheby's New York
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See The City Review article on the Spring 2012 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Christie's
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See The City Review article on the Fall 2011 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Christie's
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See The City Review article on the Fall 2010 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2010 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2010 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2009 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2009 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2009 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2009 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2008 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2008 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2008 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2008 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2007 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2007 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2007 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2006 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2006 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2006 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2005 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's November 2, 2005
See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern evening sale at Sotheby's in the Spring, 2005
See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction in the Fall, November, 2005
See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Sotheby's November 5, 2004
See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's May 4, 2004
See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Christie's May 5, 2004
See The City Review article on the May 5, 2004 evening auction at Sotheby's of Property of the Greentree Foundation from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney
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See The City Review article on the Fall 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on Spring 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art Part 2 day auction at Sotheby's
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See The City Review article on the Spring 2002 Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Christie's
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See The City Review article on Phillips Fall 2000 Impressionist & Modern Art auction
See The City Review article on the Christie's evening sale of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Art May 8, 2000
See The City Review article on the Christie's evening sale of Twentieth Century Art May 9, 2000


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