Sotheby's to auction key Monet works next month
Show me the Monet!
Sotheby's London is preparing for a month of Monet's in February, with a total of five paintings by the Impressionist master now confirmed to be going to auction in the same month. The latest painting heading for the auction block is being put forth by New York's Museum of Modern Art.
Unlike the four other works, Les Peupliers à Giverny (1887), has never been to auction before, it has always been held securely by private museums; the Art Institute of Chicago, and then MoMA. The painting of a poplar-tree, which precedes a famous series of 24 poplar-tree paintings by Monet, by four years, has an estimated price of £9 million–£12 million. Sotheby's has guaranteed an undisclosed sum for the painting, so in theory, the painting has already sold, the auction will reveal the works true monetary value.
Followers of the Monet market are eagerly waiting to see what price the painting will fetch, it is garnering particular interest, given that this is its inaugural appearance at any auction. The four other works, that are somewhat more benchmarked are: L'embarcadère, which sold for $11 million in 1989, A dawn view of Antibes, which sold for $5.3 million in 1999, A still life of peonies, which sold for $1.4 million in 1995, these three are expected to fetch modest mark ups from their previous auction prices.
The highest-priced Monet, by far is a view of the Grand Canal in Venice, which is estimated at $30 to $46 million, and it has been guaranteed to sell. Significantly it is the only twentieth century work among the five works selling next month. Experts have marked a trend in recent years that has seen Monets more modern works from later in his career rise in popularity, and therefore value, compared with the nineteenth century works. In 1989, the Grand Canal painting was sold to a Japanese collector for $11.5 million. In 2005, the painting resurfaced for sale and made $12.9 million – barely recovering its previous price in real terms.
The overall haul has an estimated combined value of $106 million which means Sotheby's are looking at collecting some hefty sellers fees, but we will have to wait until the auctions take place next to see the real colour of their Monet...