Picasso’s paint palette sells for £56,250

Picasso’s paint palette sells for £56,250


The World of Picasso (see here)

Presenting a plethora of works of all media spanning the entire oeuvre of the truly indefatigable artist Pablo Picasso, the online auction charted his experimentation and creativity from pastels to linocuts, ceramics to silver plates.

  • 188 works together totalled £4,832,125 / $6,128,101, with 92% of lots sold and 83% of those selling for prices above their high estimates.
  • The top lot was Grand vase aux femmes nues (Lot 99), a daring sculptural ceramic from the 1950s encapsulating the artist’s fascination with archaeology and classical motifs, which sold for £435,000.
  • 60 works sold from the personal collection of the artist’s granddaughter, Marina Picasso, for a total of £2.6 million – with 95% of the pieces offered soaring past their pre-sale estimates. The star of the group was an early study for three women (Lot 43), which brought £325,000, at nine times its estimate.
  • An extraordinary relic from the working process of the great artist, a palette (Lot 3), dated by Picasso to 17 June 1961, sold for £56,250 – after 39 bids drove the work over eleven times its pre-sale estimate. Two further artist palettes also sold for multiples of their estimates at £25,000 (Lot 23) and £23,750 (Lot 24).


Elsewhere in London this week, Sotheby’s held auctions of European Art: Paintings & Sculpture (£2,801,875 / $3,535,126), Russian Works of Art (£2,376,375 / $3,010,392), Works from the Estate of William Turnbull (£334,625 / $427,082), Chinese Art (£939,125 / $1,190,998) and Jades from an English Private Collection ( £169,625 / $215,118).


The Russian works of art sale saw a world record for a Fabergé icon sold at auction. The rare and important Fabergé icon (Lot 214) which was pursued by six determined bidders, and realised over 4.5 times its estimate to achieve £375,000. Appearing on the market for the first time in over a century, the gem-set silver and en plein enamel icon of Christ Pantokrator was originally listed in the Imperial Cabinet Records as a possible gift chosen for presentation by Emperor Nicholas II to the King and Queen of Montenegro.  


In the European Art sale, a new record was set for the Belgian impressionist Jenny Montigny. Fille au jardin (lot 62) sold for £200,000, and was the star lot of a group of paintings and works on paper that had remained with the descendants of the artist. The top lot was Sir Alfred Munnings’ Springtime, Apple Blossom with a Mare and Foal (lot 179), that almost tripled its pre-sale low estimate to bring £237,500.


Works from the Estate of William Turnbull, one of the most influential Modern British artists of the 20th century, were 95% sold by lot, with 43% of the buyers new to Sotheby’s, and 77% of lots soared over their high estimate. The sale offered some forty works, previously unseen at auction in collaboration with Offer Waterman who represent the artist’s estate. Turnbull was best known for his timeless sculptures, and the auction was led by two characteristic bronzes, Blade Venus I (Lot 10) and Venus (Lot 5), which made £81,250 and £62,500 respectively.


Sotheby’s has held 116 online sales worldwide so far this year, achieving over $200 million – more than double Sotheby’s entire annual online sales total for 2019 ($80 million). Since lockdown (20 March) alone, Sotheby’s has sold 8,000 items across 100 online auctions. More than one third of these sales have achieved sell-through-rates over 90%. A further 130 auctions are planned at Sotheby’s worldwide over the summer, 80 of which will be held online.



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