Bonhams - Post War and Contemporary Art Auction Analysis

July 6, 2015

Post War and Contemporary Art Auction at Bonhams London that was held on July 1 was a part of the great series of contemporary art auctions that took place last week in the Great Britain's capital. And while, of course, no other auction house involved could have matched the results of Sotheby's and Christie's, overall, Bonhams London did a good job. More than 80 percent of lots was sold, and almost half of sold lots had their hammer prices over high estimate.

Similarly to the day sale of contemporary art at Christie's London, which was held on the same day, top priced lots at Bonhams Post War and Contemporary Art Auction mainly were sold at, or under low estimate. And out of seven lots that weren't sold, five of them were expected to go for a six-figure price. High estimate of two lots were close to a $1 million, but no hammer price was nowhere near a seven-figure price. The result of this and other auctions that took place in London could be one of the signs of fatigue of the market, after the exciting spring season.

A Kapoor, a Warhol and a Kiefer - the Most Expensive Lots at Bonhams

Anish Kapoor's Untitled work from 2012, a magenta disk in stainless steel and lacquer led the way of the Bonhams London sale. It had the highest hammer price of the auction at $624,160, which was its low estimate. Andy Warhol's Dollar Sign from 1982 was sold for a $100,000 under its low estimate, for $528,621, and Anselm Kiefer's Maria durch den Dornwald ging from 2005 had its hammer price at $390,100, which was also a low estimate. Total of 8 lots had a six-figure hammer price.

Allen Jones', Bernard Aubertin's and Banksy's artworks had surpassed the expectations before the auction and had the highest margins between their respective hammer price and high estimate. While Jones' and Aubertin's works had their estimated values bellow, or around $10,000, Banksy's Keep it Real from 2002 had the fourth highest hammer price of the auction with $171,644.

Bonhams London
Left: Yuko Nasaka - Untitled, 1964 (Lot 37). Estimated at $31,209 - $46,814, sold for $70,221, or with +50 percent difference. / Right: Alberto Burri - Catrame I, 1949 (Lot 6). Estimated at $109,232 - $156,046, sold for $148,244.

Bonhams London
Left: Banksy - Keep It Real, 2002 (Lot 20). Estimated at $62,418 - $93,628, sold for $171,651 or with +83.3 percent margin. / Right: Anselm Kiefer - Maria durch den Dornwald ging, 2005 (Lot 30). Estimated at $390,115 - $546,161, sold for low estimate.

Bonhams London
Anish Kapoor - Untitled, 2012 (Lot 15). Estimated at $624,184 - $936,276, sold for low estimate. This was the highest hammer price of the auction.

Bonhams London
Lucio Fontana - Concetto Spaziale, 1960-1963 (Lot 12). Estimated at $93,628 - $124,837, sold for $140,441.

Bonhams London
Günther Uecker - Poetische Reihe - Antibild, 1976 (Lot 5). Estimated at $78,023 - $109,232, sold for high estimate.

Multi-million Contemporary Art Sale at Bonhams

Only 7 of 43 lots remained unsold at Post War and Contemporary Art Auction at Bonhams London, which means that 83.7 percent of lots were sold. The average hammer price was $93,462, and the sale totalled $3.4 million - the estimate for sold lots was $2.9 - $4.4 million, while the whole auction was estimated at $3.6 - $5.3 million. Sixteen lots, or 44.4 percent were sold over high estimate.

In two tables bellow, you'll find the summary of the auction at Bonhams, and detailed information on every auctioned lot.

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All images courtesy of Bonhams.