Led by Deaccessioned Matisse, $9.7 M. Christie’s Impressionist Sale Shows Impact of Pandemic and Secular Shift

Henri Matisse, Jeune fille assise, robe jaune (1922). Courtesy Christie’s.
This report on the results of Christie’s October 2020 Impressionist and Modern Day sale is available to AMMpro subscribers. (The first month of AMMpro is free and subscribers are welcome to sign up for the first month and cancel before they are billed.)

Last week, Christie’s impressionist and modern art day sale brought in $9.7 million with buyer’s fee across 72 lots. Hammering at $7.8 million, the sale result landed 30% below its pre-sale low expectation of $11.2 million and realized a subpar sell-through rate of just 66 percent.

21 percent of lots sold above the high estimate, 22 percent placed within their estimate ranges and 24 percent failed to reach their low expectation. 37 lots went unsold.

The category is experiencing the impact of a secular move away from impressionist and modern works—a market that is narrowing as buyer interest in the highest caliber works increases. The disruption of the pandemic may be exacerbating the drop in demand.

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