This Week’s Top Lots: May 3 – 8

Editorial Staff Art

*  Treadway Tooomey Galleries in Illinois sold 20th century art and design on May 3. The top lot was a Charles Rolfs game table that sold for $26,000 (estimate $20,000-30,000). A Keith Haring ink drawing, Studio 54, brought $29,000 (estimate $15,000-20,000), and Walter Dorwin Teague and Edwin Fuerst’s Embassy stemware for Libbey Glass sold for $10,000 (estimate $2,000-2,500).

*  The top lot in the musical instruments sale on May 3 at Skinner in Boston was a 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard that sold for $237,000 (estimate $225,000-250,000). The next highest price paid was $136,275 for a pair of 1926 Gibson Master Model F5 mandolins (estimate $120,000-160,000).

*  On May 5 the top lot of the New York auction of European and American furniture and decorative arts at Bonhams and Butterfields was a c. 1901 gilt bronze mounted and marquetry Steinway grand piano that sold for $97,600 (estimate $30,00-50,000). One notable lot was a pair of Herter Brothers armchairs from the Milton Slocum Lathan Residence that brought $42,700 (estimate $15,000-20,000).

*  The highly anticipated season for Impressionist and modern art began at the Sotheby’s New York’s evening sale on May 5, which totaled $61.3 million with 29 of 36 works sold. The top lot was Piet Mondrian’s Composition in Black and White, with Double Lines that brought $9.2 million (estimate $3-5 million). The sale included several Tamara de Lempicka paintings from the collection of Wolfgang Joop, including Portrait de Marjorie Ferry that fetched the next highest price, just under $4.9 million, and Portrait de la Duchesse de la Salle that brought $4.45 million, both estimated at $4-6 million. Impressionist canvases sold well: a Monet fetched just under $3.5 million (estimate $1.2-1.8 million), a Renoir brought $3.2 million (estimate $1.5-2 million), and a Pissaro for just under $3 million (estimate $900,000-1.2 million).

*  The evening sale of Impressionist and modern art at Christie’s New York on May 6 totaled $102.7 million-38 of the 48 lots were sold. The top lots were both by Picasso: Mousquetaire la pipe (1968), which brought $14.6 million (estimate $12-18 million), and Femme au chapeau (1971), which brought $7.7 million (estimate $8-12 million). One noteworthy lot was Tamara de Lempicka’s Portrait de Madame M, which sold for $6.1 million (estimate $6-8 million)—a world record for the artist.

*  The day sale of Impressionist and modern art at Sotheby’s on May 6 totaled over $23 million with 129 of 149 lots sold. The top lot was Tamara de Lempicka’s Le Téléphone II that brought just under $2 million (estimate $800,000-1.2 million). Other notable sales included Little Girl by Lynn Chadwick, which sold for $542,500 (estimate $200,000-300,000), and Louis Anquetin’s L’avenue de Clichy, which sold for $446,500 (estimate $150,000-200,000)—an auction record for the artist.

*  Christie’s New York held two sales of Impressionist and modern art at on May 7. The first of works on paper totaled $5.1 million with many works selling above their estimates. The top lots in works on paper were Marc Chagall’s Talmudiste endormi that was sold for $1.08 million (estimate $400,000-600,000), and a drawing by Egon Schiele that brought $662,500 (estimate $150,000-200,000). Other noteworthy lots were an Yves Tanguy gouache that sold for $146,500 (estimate $50,000-70,000), and an early Picasso drawing, Deux couples dansant, that sold for $140,500 (estimate $40,000-60,000). The day sale of Impressionist and modern art totaled $15.5 million. Fernand Leger’s Le cinq de trèfle was the top lot, selling for $1.1 million (estimate $500,000-700,000). The next highest price paid was $722,500 for both a Monet, L’église de Vétheuil (estimate $400,000-600,000), and a double-sided painting by Otto Mueller (estimate $150,000-200,000). One noteworthy sale was Henri Le Sidaner‘s Le pots de faience that was estimated at $180,000-220,000 and sold for $434,500.

Images from above: Game table by Charles Rohlfs, 1901. Courtesy of Treadway Toomey Galleries; Composition in Black and White, with Double Lines by Piet Mondrian, 1934. Courtesy of Sotheby’s; Portrait de Madame M by Tamara de Lempicka, 1932. Deux couples dansant by Pablo Picasso, c. 1901. Images courtesy of Christie’s Images Ltd., 2009.