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Contemporary Season at Phillips Auctioneers

Contemporary Season at Phillips Auctioneers

As the Contemporary Season comes to a close for the art world’s top auction houses, the John Jones team have been reflecting on the records realised and the unfortunate no sales.

Christie’s may have reached the largest total for an evening sale, a record of £124,192,000, with the sale of a Francis Bacon portrait of George Dyer going under the hammer for £42,200,000. Meanwhile Sotheby’s reached another staggering figure of £87,800,000. So why did the renowned auction house and John Jones client, Phillips, only reach £10,433,230.

One may be thinking that the Contemporary Evening Sale, held on February 10th at Phillips' Howick Place premises, seems comparatively lower than the standards set by other market leaders. Phillips only had 33 lots in comparison to Christie’s 49 and Sotheby’s 59. Phillips managed to sell all but seven lots, four lots successfully made over £1,000,000, and the auction house exceeded the lower end of their estimated pre-sale total.

Phillips Contemporary Evening Sale lots included the works of many younger artists just starting to appear on the international scene, and newer works produced in the past three years, which are notorious for being higher risk. Lucien Smith’s is a prime example – he was listed in Forbes 2012 list of ‘30 notable individuals under 30’s’. His painting “Feet in the Water” sold for £194,500, beating its estimated £40-60,000. It makes for a great future investment.

When you consider the results of the Phillips sale it has been a success for earlier career artists. If you’re looking to invest, we think their upcoming Contemporary Art and Design Sale on March 6th in New York is definitely worth researching if you’re willing to take more risks with your investments, instead of buying house hold names.

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