Italian Sales Pushing the Auction Houses


Sold at Christie’s

The auction houses of Italy for Italian contemporary art were multifaceted in the times before the summer 2012 closures. The market went from two to sixteen auctions, from 37% to 90% sold and gross sales went from 2.5 million Euros to over 10 million Euros. Five out of eight improved the winning bid closings. Castellani’s “Superficie Blue,” 1990, 100×80 valued at 160 thousand Euros sold at 120 thousand. A still life by Morandi, 1955 oil on canvas, 30×40, valued at 550 thousand to 750 thousand Euros, sold for 736.150. Santomaso’s oil on canvas, “Dalla parte della Meridiana,” 195×130 valued at 90-130 thousand Euros, sold for 156.250 thousand. Lastly, Cremonini’s “La Mosca Cieca,” 1963-64, oil on canvas 130×195, valued at 30-40 thousand Euros, sold for 96,720.

Burri                  1988, Acrylic, pumice on celotex 150x202cm                  330,000

Castellani         1976, extroversion 80x60cm                                              120,000

Santomaso         1956, 195x130cm, oil on canvas                                     125,000

Vedova         1954, 144x190cm, egg tempera canvas                                250,000

Balla                  1981, 127x79cm         pastels, ink, pencil paper               265,000

Balla                  1920, Sculpture, 50x34x10cm                                           110,000


Christie’s Italian Sale in October of 2012 achieved £18,162,650 or $25,526,640 or €19,831,008. It was 96% sold by value. The top price was paid for Piero Manzoni‘s Achrome realising £2,617,250 ($3,680,000 to €2,858,900). Four lots sold for over £1 million  and six for over $1 million. Five artist records were set for works by Fausto Melotti, Vettor Pisani, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Paola Pivi and Arnaldo Pomodoro.

Spring sales results will be posted as soon as the data is available.


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