Sotheby’s And Christie’s Auction Houses Bring Strong Prices
Sotheby’s Auction House Scores Big!
This week we seem to be focusing on some serious money-makers ranging from fashion labels to art auction houses. We thought that in light of the recent economic chaos, we would shine the spotlight on the major money-makers and spenders.
Who said you can’t have your cake and eat it too? Yes, the economy is what it is, but that is no reason to not invest in some priceless works of art that will sore higher than our debt ceiling. (Well, hopefully.)
Sotheby’s and Christie’s have been making some serious headlines this past year in the art world breaking all kinds of records in terms of sales. Recently, Sotheby’s surpassed Christie’s within its first half of yearly sales having made an astounding 3.4 billion dollars.
China has been playing a major role in art buying this past year according to Sotheby’s and is becoming a force to be reckoned with in terms of art collectors. Let’s just say that 3.4 billion dollars is quite the pretty penny. I mean, I know I have my buried treasure chest of 3.4 billion bones buried in my back yard for a rainy day.
All that being said, these days it’s all about making the most out of your paycheck and surrounding yourself with luxurious items. Heed my advice: there is no point in investing that hard-earned money into homes or stocks in today’s tumultuous market.
Rather, spend that dough on works of art that will be worth more in the long run without the stock market crashes or foreclosures for all. Why not splurge on items that’ll make you feel good and lack worry associated with your purchases. Go out there and spend, spend, spend! Happy hunting!
Sotheby’s Auction Sells A Two Million Dollar Rug
Sotheby’s Sells Two Million Dollar Rug – An antique Persian rug recently became one of the most expensive rugs ever purchased. The two million rug in question is an amazing Isfahan from the Safavid period in Persia and represents the pinnacle of Persian rug design. Showcasing that the best rugs are just as desirable and just as valuable as any artwork, the sale of this rug is a testament to the enduring quality and artistic brilliance of these masterworks.
While most people might not be used to thinking of antique rugs as the sort of thing that can fetch millions of dollars, this is precisely what happened at a recent Sotheby’s “Masterworks” auction, where a sixteenth century Isfahan rug commanded an astounding $1.93 million when the gavel fell – nearly three times the estimate set on the piece before the auction. And while 21 other exquisite antique items were sold in addition to the prized rug, the price tag on this incredible Isfahan was large enough to represent a full 36% of the auction’s total sales.
According to a spokesperson from Sotheby’s, there was tremendous interest in the antique Persian rug, lot #22, before the auction even began. The spokesman also explained that it was clear early on in the going that the piece was going to fetch an especially steep price. “There was active bidding from a number of bidders,” he said. “We knew that this would happen from the reaction to the catalog. For a rug to be in the Masterworks auction, it has to have provenance, and be quite rare.” A masterwork indeed, it is clear from this auction that at least one person out there absolutely had to have this rug.
Certainly the cultural and historical origins of this two million dollar rug played a significant role in this tremendous desirability. After all, rugs with the pedigree boasted by this big seller have historically been among the most sought-after and have had a reputation for impeccable craftsmanship for centuries. Isfahan rugs – especially Safavid Isfahans such as this piece – represent the pinnacle of antique Persian rugs.
Working in a culture in which rugs were among the highest and most desirable forms of art, the rug-weavers of Isfahan – the capital of the Persian Empire during the Safavid period – had the luxury of looking inward for inspiration. Isfahan rugs are typically characterized by spiraling vine scrolls and deeply re-curved tendrils – aesthetic trends that were also present in other art of the time, especially architecture. Safavid Isfahan rugs also tend to feature elaborate central medallions and exceptionally complex and finely-worked arabesques. These rugs were made with the finest wool and dyes available, and represent a supreme achievement in Persian rug design, no wonder it became the most expensive rug in the world.
Indeed, that it was a Safavid Isfahan that fetched such a price at such an illustrious auction makes all the sense in the word to those with a deep knowledge of antique Oriental rugs. Pieces such as the two million dollar rug represent a supreme achievement not only in rug making, but in visual art in general. That they continue to command such high price tags centuries after their construction is a strong testament to the unique level of quality in their design and manufacture.
If you enjoyed post, you might also enjoy some other things we’ve written about here at the Nazmiyal Blog! Perhaps you’d be interested in the post where Nazmiyal Blog interviews artist David Thomas Smith, whose work with Google Maps and antique Persian rug patterns is simply amazing.
Christie’s Contemporary Art Auction Brings Strong Prices
Contemporary Art Auction – This past Wednesday, Christie’s hosted a tremendously successful auction of contemporary art at Rockefeller Center in New York City. Shattering many different records in one evening, the auction resulted in more than $495 million worth of purchases – the highest amount for any art auction, ever.
Amazingly, $300 million was brought in at a Sotheby’s auction of contemporary art less than 24 hours before. Records for individual artists were also broken at the Sotheby’s show, with celebrated artists such as Barnett Newman and Gerhard Richter selling extremely well.
Perhaps the most remarkable sale from either auction was that of a Jackson Pollock piece, “No. 19, 1948,” a drip painting beautifully representative of Pollock’s unique and immediately recognizable style.
Fetching a record-shattering $58.3 million with fees, the huge sale of “No. 19” made Pollock the star of the show, and illustrated the contemporary master’s continually rising star – “No. 19” had been owned by Washington industrialist Mitchell Rales and his wife, and had last been purchased at a Christie’s auction for only $2.4 million in May of 1993.
A similarly successful painting at Wednesday’s auction was a piece by celebrated contemporary pop art artist Roy Lichtenstein: “Woman with a Flowered Hat,” a snide take on a Picasso work of the same title, sold for $56 million with fees, far outselling its pre-auction estimate of only $32 million.
A record-setting sale for a Lichtenstein, the huge sale of “Woman with a Flowered Hat” demonstrates the art community’s continuing (and, indeed, growing) love affair with the experimental contemporary masters of the mid-twentieth century – in addition to the massive prices achieved by the Lichtenstein and Pollock pieces, dozens of aesthetically similar pieces also sold well above pre-auction estimates.
With nearly $800 million worth of contemporary art sold in just two days’ time between the Sotheby’s and Christie’s auctions of Tuesday and Wednesday, it is clear that the art world knows what it likes right now, and are more than happy to pay top dollar for it.
If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy other content from the Nazmiyal Blog of Design & Style — like this post about Madonna’s sale of a painting for charity, this post about the Bouroullec Brothers’ new exhibition in Paris, or this post about an antique rug that sold for $2 million at a Christie’s auction!