Kandinsky Crowns Christie's Sale

London - Christie's sale of Impressionist & Modern Art, held at their King Street rooms, which took place this week, attracted bidders from around the world and realized a total of £64,076,575 / $100,407,993.

Art collectors of ArtKabinett social media network are astounded to see art prices continue to climb, as global exchanges tumble over chronic economic uncertainty.

The auction was a runaway success, selling 87% by value and 84% by lot. It didn't quite match Sotheby's outstanding Impressionist and Modern London sale which realised over £165,000,000 including commission.

The sale was led by Kandinsky’s Studie zu Improvisation 3, shown here, a true masterpiece by the artist from a pivotal moment in his career, which achieved £13,501,875 / $21,157,438 (previously sold at Christie's New York in 2008 for $16,882,500).

This was followed by a rare and exceptional portrait of Paul Guillaume by Modigliani which sold for £6,781,875 / $10,627,198. Further paintings by Monet and Picasso exceeded expectations, with the former’s Sainte-Adresse more than doubling its low estimate.

The sculpture section of the sale was led by Rodin’s Eve après le péché which more than quadrupled its low estimate to achieve £2,861,875. The Collection of Simone and Jean Tiroche in the Evening Sale was 100% sold and realized £5,419,000 / $8,491,573.

In total, 18 works of art sold for over £1 million and two artist records were set, for a work by Eugène Boudin and a painting by Constantin Brancusi.

These exceptional results demonstrate the strength of the market for Impressionist and Modern art and Christie’s continued success matching international buyers with exceptional works.

Impressionist and modern art has for decades been the biggest-selling category of art at auction, resulting in a shortage of market-fresh masterworks.

The Kandinsky, showing a horseman on a bridge, had last been auctioned in New York in 2008, when it fetched $16.9 million. This time, it was estimated to fetch between 12 million pounds (18.8 million) and 18 million pounds at hammer prices. The final figure was 13.5 million pounds with fees.

The work was one of a group of critically-admired “Improvisations” the Russian-born artist painted as he edged toward abstraction. Certain to sell, thanks to a third-party guarantor, it was bought by the Zurich-based dealer Beda Jedlicka, bidding for a collector.

Sales of Impressionist and modern art in 2012 raised 3.2 billion euros ($4.3 billion), or 30 percent of the market, according to a report published by the European Fine Art Foundation in March. It has now been overtaken by contemporary, which racked up 4.5 billion euros, or 43 percent, in 2012.