Christie’s and Sotheby’s Solid Results in Paris

Christie’s and Sotheby’s Knit Together Solid Results at Paris Contemporary Evening Sales, Setting Artist Records.

Jun 11, 2023By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
Christie’s American branch at Rockefeller Center in New York. Via Wikipedia


Christie’s and Sotheby’s managed to set new artist records at contemporary evening sales in Paris, Wednesday. The auction house made a profit of $15 million, with fees. Pierre Soulages, Jean Dubuffet, and Joan Mitchell led the sale. Also, the house managed to sell all of the 26 works that were on display.


Christie’s “White Glove Sale”

Cécile Verdier selling Joan Mitchell’s Sans titre. Courtesy Christie’s.


The auction house calls this sale the “white glove sale” because the house managed to sell every piece of art. Althought all artworks found their new owner, two artworks were withdrawn from the auction before it began. That is why the sales success rate is 93 percent. The hammer amount includes $12 million.


The auction house achieved a good result more considering that the estimated value ranged between $8.8 and $13 million. before the withdrawal of Yves Klein and Martial Raysse’s art, the estimated value ranged from ten to 15 million. The results last year were still better, with $18 million. The top lot of the night’s sales was an oil painting by Soulages titled Peinture 130 x 290 cm, 21 novembre 1990.


Jour du royal bleu
Josef Šíma (1891-1971), Jour du royal bleu, 1968 © Christie’s Images Limited 2023.


Soulages’s artwork sold for $1.9 million. After this, the best result achieved Dubuffet’s work on paper La vie interne du minéral, sold for $1.5 million. This work exceeded the expectations of many, as the pre-sale value included no more than $701,004. Mitchell’s canvas painting Sans titre, which sold for approximately $1.3 million, is equally noteworthy.

Get the latest articles delivered to your inbox

Sign up to our Free Weekly Newsletter


Two Artists Set New Records

The French Auction Market
Christie’s Paris sale room of the Hubert de Givenchy collection. Photo: © Nina Slavcheva. Courtesy of Christie’s.


Furthermore, the transaction broke two artist records. Jour du Royal Blue (1968) by Josef Sima sold for €806,400 ($869,677), multiplied the highest presale forecast. Also, the 2006 diptyque Ascèse by Fabienne Verdier went for €403,200 ($434,838), which is somewhat more than twice the maximum prediction.


Sotheby’s surpassed Christie’s in this case. Their total of sold works was $17.7 million. The sale included pieces from Michel Lequesne’s assortment of after-war works of art, African and Oceanic art, as well as contemporary art. A piece by Yves Klein was among the top items at the Sotheby’s auction and sold for $2.8 million.
Courtesy Sotheby’s.


Especially with Brexit and the premiere Paris+ by Art Basel event last year, expectations for the Paris marketplace remained high. Due to a Christie’s representative, the auction company is focusing on single-owner collection revenue, which account for over fifty percent of its revenues in the city, and plans to hold specialist auctions.

Author Image

By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.