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    Picasso's La Lecture (click on image to enlarge)

    Picasso’s La Lecture sold  for  £25,241,250, more than double the low estimate, at Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern art sale. There was a heated six minute long bidding contest between seven bidders on the phone and in the saleroom.  The 1932 painting of Marie-Thérèse Walter was bought over the phone by an anonymous buyer.

    The sale brought in £68,834,400, well within the pre-sale estimate of £55,630,000-79,250,000.  There were 42 lots on offer and 32 sold, mostly at prices at or above their estimate.  Fifteen works made over one million pounds and the average lot value was £2.15 million.
    Among the works that failed to sell was Alberto Giacometti’s bronze portrait of his younger brother from 1957.  Grand buste de Diego avec bras was estimated at £3.5 to £5 million.  Dealers reckoned it failed to sell because of its pale colour.

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