Francis Bacon - Study Of Red Pope, 1962 2nd Version, 1971 (Estimate on Request)
So, Christie's Pot-War and Contemporary Art Auction Evening was held last night, and there were surprises and a real sense of shock, as their trophy lot - Francis Bacon's Study of Red Pope, 1962 2nd Version, 1971 failed to sell. The on-request estimate price for the work was £60 million - a costly miscalculation for both the auction house and the seller. The bidding started at £50 million, then rose, and stopped at £58 million, just below the estimate threshold. There were no further bids by phone or in the room and so amazingly the work remained unsold.
Francis Bacon - Head With Raised Arm, 1955 (Estimate £7,000,000 - £10,000,000)
The other Bacon in the sale (above) - another which remained under the radar in a private collection for years - however, did sell at £11.5 million which was just above its high estimate.
Peter Doig - Camp Forestia, 1996 (Estimate £14,000,000 - £18,000,000)
This piece - typical of a phase of Doig's output that the collectors really seem to love, did sell achieving £15.4 million.
Peter Doig - Approaching A City, 1997-1998 (Estimate 2,000,000 - £3,000,000)
This work which was more uncharacteristic of Doig's output however, failed to reach its estimate and didn't sell.
Jean-Michel Basquiat - Red Skull, 1982 (Estimate On Request)
Basquiat's Red Skull was perhaps the other star lot of the sale after the Francis Bacon, and despite having an on-estimate price request like the Bacon, managed to sell for £16.5 million which was in the middle of its £12 - £18 million estimate.
Jean-Michel Basquiat - Both Poles, 1982 (Estimate £3,000,000 - £4,000,000)
This, another of the Basquiats in the sale also managed to sell at the upper end of its estimate for £3.78 million.
Jean-Michel Basquiat/Andy Warhol - Keep Frozen, 1985 (Estimate £1,200,000 - £1,800,000)
This Basquiat-Warhol collaboration achieved £1.6 million fairly close to its high estimate.
Andy Warhol - 2 Dollar Bill With Jefferson, 1962 (Estimate £1,000,000 - £1,500,000)
A lovely early Warhol drawing failed to sell.
Cy Twombly - Lycian Drawing, 1982 (Estimate £1,000,000 - £1,500,000)
This Cy Twombly painting achieved £1.8 million.
Despite the star lot and several others remaining unsold, Christies still realised sales of £99, 522,750 for the Post-War and Contemporary Art Auction. Not bad at all for one night's work!