Of all the contemporary sales that took place in London during the week of the Frieze Art Fair, Christie’s results most certainly place the auction house in the leading position. The results of Christie’s evening sale on October 14, which saw a total trading volume of $59,896,712, were double those of its closest follower Sotheby’s, which brought $28,028,014 in sales. Nearly half of Christie’s lots sold above their estimate ranges, with the most impressive result of the week achieved by German artist Gerhard Richter’s Kerze (Candle). With a record-setting final price of $16.5 mln, it sold well above its pre-auction high estimate of $14 mln. The previous record for a work by Richter was set by another Kerze (Candle), which sold at Sotheby’s in 2008 for $15.7 mln.
Along with contemporary sales, the two leading auction houses also held sales of Italian art. The Italian sale turned out to be more successful for Sotheby’s, and its results even exceeded those of its contemporary evening sale. Sotheby’s Italian sale totaled $34,085,892, slightly more than the $27,652,992 that was achieved at Christie’s. It is worth noting that many lots significantly exceeded their estimates and entered Skate’s Top 5000, which currently has a threshold price of $2 mln. Of the 14 total works that entered Skate’s Top 5000 in October, six were by Italian artists.
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