ARTS & CULTURE
06/22/2010 07:01 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

AUCTION UPDATE: Manet Breaks Record, But Auction Fails To Impress

Edouard Manet's exceptional Self Portrait with a Palette sold tonight at Sotheby's London for 22.4 million pounds ($33.2 million) with fees, a record for the artist at auction, this despite a rather disappointing result at its Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale, which totaled just over 112 million pounds ($167 million, well below the 148 million pound pre-sale estimate). Of the 51 lots offered, 16 went unsold, including major works by Monet, Picasso, and Chagall.

The event total failed to break any records as hoped, as the pre-sale high estimate of 148 million pounds was already greater than any previous London Sotheby's auction. Last February the company accomplished its own personal record and first place for any London auction, boosted by the historic hammer price realized for Giacometti's L'homme qui marche I. Sotheby's raised 146.8 million pounds overall at the sale, far beyond expectations of 69-102 million pounds.

Another positive note of the sale included a record for an artwork by Andre Derain, whose Arbres a Collioure sold for 16.3 million pounds to an anonymous bidder on the phone. It was estimated to fetch up to 14 million pounds.

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