Sotheby's (NYSE: BID) annual sales of Modern and Contemporary Art held alongside the prestigious FIAC art fair in Paris concluded at the end of last week with a total of $37,808,112, representing a 52.6% increase over the same series of sales in October 2017, and with an 85% sell through rate. More than 900 bidders from over 40 countries competed for 264 lots sold in five auctions over three days, including the Renand-Chapet and Oscar Mairlot Collections, sales of Impressionist & Modern Art, the second edition of the Modernités auction, and works curated by noted gallerist, Natalie Seroussi.
Aurélie Vandevoorde, Head of the Impressionist & Modern Art Department, Sotheby's France: "Once again, unseen works with prestigious provenance were celebrated by the market. This is evidenced by the remarkable results of our various auctions over the past three days, and in particular by the exceptional performance of the collections sold throughout the week. These works, most of which had never appeared on the market, sparked great enthusiasm from collectors around the world and set several world records."
The highest price for the week was achieved by an outstanding cast of Auguste Rodin's iconic Penseur,Petit modèle, which sold for $2,775,505 in the Modernités auction. The original Penseur, created in 1880, was part of a commission for a gateway inspired by Dante's Divine Comedy for the Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris. The first smaller models were made from 1903 onwards, such as the present work that was cast before 1920. It remained in the same family for close to a century and had never before appeared at auction.