Christie’s Defining British Art: Evening Sale, curated as part of the celebrations of the 250th anniversary of the company, was led by an iconic sculpture by Henry Moore in London tonight. His Reclining Figure, Festival sold for a record £24.7 million in a sale that brought in £99,479,500. There were records for Frank Auerbach, Lynn Chadwick, Frederick Lord Leighton, Henry Moore, Samuel John Peploe, Bridget Riley, David Roberts and Thomas Daneill. Registered bidders from 32 countries from across four continents demonstrated continuing global demand. The sale was 87% sold by lot and 83% sold by value. The diverse works of art represented provided a journey through British art over four centuries. Version No. 2 of Lying Figure with Hypodermic Syringe by Francis Bacon made £20.2 million.
Ever since James Christie first opened his doors in 1766 the company has championed art and artists and artists like Reynolds and Gainsborough were regular visitors to the rooms in early years.
“We saw global participation tonight with strong bidding from the Americas and are very pleased with establishing so many artist world records in this sale that celebrated British art and our long relationship with artists and collectors,” said Jussi Pylkkänen, Global President and lead auctioneer. “We thank all our clients, vendors and buyers, past, present or future, for entrusting us now and over the centuries with the safe passage of precious and historic objects – from one country to another, and from one generation to its successor.”
(See post on antiquesandartireland.com for June 2 and June 9, 2016)