£71m sale - 'strong prices' or a 'flop'?

June 24 2015

Image of £71m sale - 'strong prices' or a 'flop'?

Picture: Christie's

Such is the twitchiness among some that we're at bursting point in the art market that even the mildest setback is interpreted as a disaster. Yesterday's Impressionist sale at Christie's made £71m, and was led by the above £10.8m Monet. But a few duff lots have led to Bloomberg headlining the sale a 'flop'.

One such was a Picasso portrait which sold for £4.5m, despite having been bought for $6.8m in 2010. Apparently, the fact that the vendor didn't quadruple their money in just five years on an average painting by Picasso is a portent of art market armageddon.

Needless to say, the Christie's press release of the sale gives an extremely rosy view, heralding 'strong prices across the breadth of the category'. The truth lies somewhere between the two.

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