Phillips Contemporary Art Evening Sale
Phillips opened the battle for London’s February series of contemporary art sales last night (February 9), touting a $37.4/51.5 million (£25.9/37.5 million) presale estimate that had been revised down from recent estimates after three lots were withdrawn. However, it was still the highest estimate that Phillips has ever quoted for a London evening sale auction.
The result was an encouraging, but modest, $35.1 million (£24.6 million) sale, including the buyers’ premium. Of 43 lots on offer, just nine were unsold. However, 16 of the works that were sold fell below their presale estimate.
Appropriate to the company’s ambitions to break into the dominant duopoly of art auctioneers, it also had one of the largest number of guarantees of the week—eleven works with a combined low estimate of $17 million (£12 million)—or 43 percent of the total low estimate.