For the first time in four years, Christie's fell short of its pre-sale estimate at an evening art auction. The auction house sold off $277 million worth of Impressionist and modern artworks in New York earlier tonight -- more than $10 million shy of its of $287 million to $405 million estimate -- in a disappointing sale that revealed further evidence of a weakening U.S. art market.
The sale, overall, achieved 82% of its expected value, with 14 of the 58 works on offer failing to find a buyer. Vincent van Gogh's peasant view, "Route aux confines de Paris, avec paysan portant la beche sur l'epaule," was priced to sell for at least $13 million but stalled at $11.5 million. Works by Paul Gauguin, Fernand Leger, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Kees van Dongen also failed to close a deal.
The bright spot of the sale was Claude Monet's bridge landscape, "Le Pont du chemin de fer a Argenteuil," which drew three bidders and ultimately sold to a telephone buyer for a record $41 million, just over its $40 million high estimate.