Cezanne watercolour makes $19m

May 2 2012

Image of Cezanne watercolour makes $19m

Picture: Christie's

That recently found Cezanne watercolour of a Card PLayer made $19m last night at Christie's.

Bloomberg has some illuminating stats on the auction, and what's to come this week in New York:

Christie’s International held its smallest New York evening Impressionist and modern art sale in 2 1/2 years, at the outset of an auction fortnight expected to total as much as $1.5 billion.

Last night’s sale tallied $117.1 million, in the middle of the presale range of $90.5 million to $130.2 million. Three of the 31 lots failed to sell in an auction of less than an hour, the quickest in years.

Two paintings tied for top lot, at $19.1 million: Paul Cezanne’s watercolor “Joueur de Cartes” (“Card Player”) and a lush flower bouquet painted by Henri Matisse in 1907, “Les Pivoines.”

Christie’s equivalent auction in November had 82 lots and tallied $140.8 million.

“We all know it’s very difficult to get great Impressionist and modern work,” said New York art dealer Asher Edelman. “The contemporary options are much better.”

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