Brancuși sells for a record $57.3 million as New York sales get off to ‘fantastic start’

Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale totals $289.1 million — the most successful auction for the category since 2010, and a 104 per cent increase on May 2016


20th Century Week opened in New York with the Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale, which witnessed an extraordinary nine-minute bidding battle for lot 32, Constantin Brancusi’s La muse endormie, a bronze cast in 1913 and the first in the artist’s series of iconic ovoid sculptures.

This extraordinary object, which was acquired by the distinguished French collector Jacques Ulmann in the 1950s and has remained in his family ever since, realised $57,367,500 (including buyer’s premium) — the top price of the night — after a dramatic contest between five bidders.

The sale’s total of $289.1 million (£223.9 million / €264.1 million) represented a 104 per cent increase on the corresponding sale in 2016 and was Christie’s best Impressionist and Modern Art result since 2010.

Christie’s CEO Guillaume Cerutti described it as a ‘fantastic start to the season’, and paid tribute to the specialists who put together an auction that was 96 per cent sold by value and attracted registered bidders from 35 countries around the world, with 23 per cent of the lots being bought by bidders in Asia.




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