Christie's: Post-War and Contemporary Auction Recap

April 17, 2015

Ok, that was bizarre. And by "bizarre", we mean good. Really good. So good that we could with certainty say that Post-War and Contemporary Auction at Christie's in Amsterdam was the most successful auction this year. But, that "most successful" doesn't even begin to tell how incredibly good this auction was. Seriously. This was just insane. In-sa-ne.

Christie's
Alexander Calder - Untitled, 1972 (Lot 39)

The Overview of Post-War and Contemporary Auction at Christie's

So, what was that good? Out of total of 280 lots that were auctioned, 218 of them were sold. That's a pretty good 77.9 percent, but that was not it. A whooping 131 lots were sold over high estimate, almost half of total number of lots (46.8 percent), and more than sixty percent of sold lots. Sixty nine lots were sold in range of estimated values (31.7 percent of sold), and just 18 lots were sold under low estimate (only 8.3 percent of sold). And here comes the good stuff: these 218 sold lots totaled $8.55 million, or $1.08 million more than the sum of high estimates for all lots! In other words, the total of 280 lots were estimated at $5.30 million - $7.47 million; those 218 that were sold went for $8.55 million. That was +14.5 percent more than Christie's Amsterdam most optimistic estimate for everything they auctioned on April 14 and April 15. Just for the record, the total of high estimates of sold lots was $6.92 million. The final score was some 23.6 percent better. In-sa-ne. This result was so good, that one might even question Christie's final estimates. Either those forecasts were underestimated, or this auction was just as we said - insanely good.

The Most Successful Lots at Christie's: Post-War and Contemporary Auction

So, which lots were the most successful at the most successful auction of the year? At the first place, there was Günther Uecker's Nagelrelief, that was estimated at $426,132 - $639,198, and was sold for $873,571 (+36.7 percent difference between the hammer price and the high estimate). Otto Piene's Untitled (Rasterbild) was at number two, with almost half a million (it was estimated at $127,840 - $191,759, and was sold for $490,052: +155.6 percent difference), and Jan Schoonhoven's R73-1 was sold at low estimate, for $479,399. Karel Appel's Deux personnages doubled its high estimate with hammer price of $340,906, and another Otto Piene's Untitled (Rasterbild) did very well - it was sold for $319,599, or for almost $130,000 more than its high estimate. Gerhard Richter's Grün-Blau-Rot also did better than its high estimate, and was sold with +30 percent difference, for $276,986. Antoni Tàpies' Implícit-explícit was sold for almost $100,000 more than its high estimate, for $255,679, Heinz Mack's Lichtstele doubled its high estimate and was sold for $170,453, as well as other Mack's work, Klassisches Lichtrelief. Gotthard Graubner's Untitled (Kissenbild) almost doubled its high estimate - it was sold for $165,126, and this was the last lot that went over $150,000.

Christie's
Asger Jorn - A Look Into The Past, 1962 (Lot 45)

When we talk about most successful lots in terms of biggest difference between hammer price and high estimate, the true champion was Armando's Untitled, that was estimated at $1,598 - $2,131, and was sold for $15,980, or with +649.9 percent difference between hammer price and high estimate. Arman's Violon Découpé had +349.9 percent difference, Brigitte Matschinsky-Denninghoff's Botschaft had +333.3, and François Morellet's 0o-90o, 7o-97o had +328.5. Christian Dotremont's C'est à Prendre ou à Laisser, C'est Apprendre à l'Essai was estimated at $3,729 - $4,794 and was sold for $20,241 (+322.2 percent difference), Stephen Rosenthal's Asia had +266.6, and Marie-Jo Lafontaine's Jeder Engel ist Schrecklich was estimated at $8,523 - $12,784 and changed hands for $44,744, or with +250 percent difference.

Please, scroll down to get detailed info on this truly remarkable auction.

Christie's: Post-War and Contemporary Auction in Details

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Christie's
Walter Leblanc - Torsions M.o. 9, 1974 (Lot 17)

Christie's
Wim Delvoye - Cabinet (Installation Of 35 Delft Saw Blades), 1985 (Lot 51)

Christie's
Heinz Mack - Lichtstele, 1964 (Lot 5)

Christie's
Walasse Ting - Untitled, c. 1979 (Lot 269)

Christie's
Sigmar Polke - Untitled, 1992 (Lot 47)

Christie's
Otto Piene - Untitled (Rasterbild), 1958-72 (Lot 16)

Christie's
Pierre Alechinsky - Retour Des Choses, 1993-94 (Lot 38)

Christie's
Gotthard Graubner - Untitled (Kissenbild), 1970 (Lot 6)

Christie's
Marie-Jo Lafontaine - Jeder Engel Ist Schrecklich, c. 1989 (Lot 203)

Christie's
Luc Tuymans - Untitled, 1978 (Lot 54)

Christie's
Karel Appel - Deux Personnages, 1975 (detail) (Lot 46)

Christie's
Karel Appel - Curious Bull, 1950 (Lot 34)

Christie's
Heinz Mack - Rotierendes Lichtrelief, 1960-64 (Lot 18)

Christie's
Arman - Violon Découpé, 1987 (Lot 253)

Christie's
Jef Verheyen - Les Arbres Ne Fleurissent Qu'au Printemps, 1974 (detail) (Lot 1)

Christie's
Jef Verheyen - Fleurs, 1964 (Lot 21)

Christie's
Jan Schoonhoven - R73-1, 1973 (Lot 19)

Christie's
Jan Schoonhoven - Hol, 1967 (Lot 29)

Christie's
Heinz Mack - Klassisches Lichtrelief, 1959 (Lot 10)

Christie's
Günther Uecker - Nagelrelief, 1986 (Lot 8)

Christie's
Guillermo Kuitca - Red Plan, 1989 (Lot 53)

Christie's
Brigitte Matschinsky-Denninghoff - Botschaft, 1986 (Lot 246)

Christie's
Armando - Untitled, 1960 (Lot 102)

Christie's
Gerhard Richter - Grau, 1973 (Lot 23)

Christie's
Asger Jorn - A Look Into The Past, 1962 (Lot 45)

Christie's
Antoni Tàpies - Implícit-Explícit, 1995 (Lot 11)

Featured images:
- Karel Appel - Deux personnages, 1960 (Lot 35)
- Gerhard Richter - Grün-blau-rot, 1993 (Lot 48)
- Otto Piene - Untitled (Rasterbild), 1959 (Lot 2)

Also in slider:
- Per Kirkeby - Untitled, 2005 (detail) (Lot 44)

All images courtesy of Christie's.