Max Ernst (1891 - 1976) LE DÉSERT oil on canvas, 23 5/8 by 31 7/8 in. Painted in 1929. Max Ernst (1891 - 1976)
LE DÉSERT
oil on canvas, 23 5/8 by 31 7/8 in. Painted in 1929.

Of the 46 lots offered, including works by Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, Tamara de Lempicka and Piet Mondrian only four failed to find buyers. Yesterday evening’s tally represented a 15 percent increase from a year ago, when $105.9 million of art was sold. The sale also benefited from the presence of several estates, including that of Jan Krugier, a prominent art dealer who died in 2008.

 

 Claude Monet (1840 - 1926) NYMPHÉAS oil on canvas 34 3/4 by 39 3/8 in. Painted in 1906. Claude Monet (1840 - 1926)
NYMPHÉAS
oil on canvas 34 3/4 by 39 3/8 in. Painted in 1906.

 

Nymphaes (1906) a Claude Monet piece featuring a scene of water lilies inspired by his garden in Giverny led the sale as a bidding war broke out between telephone clients of Kevin Ching, Sotheby’s chief executive officer in Asia, and David Norman, chairman of the company’s Impressionist and Modern Art department. Norman’s client won. The piece was in 2010 on sale at Christie's with an estimate of $51m but failed to sell. The record price for a Monet at auction was set at Christie's in 2008 at $80.4m.

Tamara de Lempicka 1898 - 1980 SUZANNE AU BAIN signed De Lempicka (lower right) oil on canvas 92.5 by 58.5cm. 36 3/8 by 23in. Painted circa 1938. Tamara de Lempicka (1898 - 1980)
SUZANNE AU BAIN
oil on canvas, 36 3/8 by 23in. Painted circa 1938.

Russian bidders chased works by Marc Chagall and Alexej Von Jawlensky. A client of Russian-born Alina Davey of Sotheby’s private sales group fought off a client of Sotheby’s Asia Chairman Patti Wong to win Tamara De Lempicka’s fleshy nude Suzanne au Bain (ca 1938) for $4m.

“We are seeing a whole new group of buyers,” Philip Hook, Sotheby’s senior international specialist, Europe, said after the sale. “There are Russian, Asian and South American collectors who weren’t in the market four years ago."

See all Sotheby's 'Works of Art' on offer at Barnebys here.

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