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Thursday, 9 May, 2002, 09:50 GMT 10:50 UK
Cezanne and Degas lead $126m sale
 Sotheby's New York
Cezanne's still life was the sale's most expensive lot
Works by Cezanne and Degas fetched $16m (11m) each at auction in New York on Wednesday - but a Gaugain went unsold after failing to reach its reserve price.

Sotheby's auction house took a total of $126m (87m) from the sale, in what was seen as one of the best results for a major art auction in years.

It's just amazing to see the market so strong

David Norman, Sotheby's
Only three of the 55 lots failed to find buyers.

Cezanne's still life Pichet Et Assiette De Poires was the sale's most expensive lot, selling for $16,784,500 (11.5m).

It was followed by Degas' Au Musee Du Louvre (Miss Cassatt), which sold for $16,509,500 (11.3m) and the Giacometti's sculpture Grande Tete De Diego, which fetched $13,759,500 (9.4m).

A record was set for the artist Juan Gris, whose Cubist work Le Pot De Geranium sold for $8,479,500 (5.8m).


The sale's few disappointments included Matisse's Figure Decorative, which sold for $8,259,500 (5.6m), somewhat lower than the auction house's estimate of $9m (6.2m).

 Sotheby's New York
Le Pot De Geranium set a new record for Juan Gris
One work which failed to sell was Monet's Le Repos Dans Le Jardin, Argenteuil, estimated at up to $4.5m (3m) and offered for sale by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Also left unsold was the auction's highest-priced painting, Gauguin's Femmes Pres Des Palmiers, an 1891 work from the artist's first Tahiatian trip.

The work failed to reach its lowest pre-sale estimate of $15m (10m) when bidding stopped at $11.5m (7.9m).

David Norman, Sotheby's worldwide co-chairman of Impressionist and modern art, said the house was "absolutely thrilled".

"With the markets, interest rates, and the political and world situation so unstable, it's just amazing to see the market so strong," he said.

See also:

07 May 02 | Arts
Degas tub goes under hammer
06 Dec 01 | Americas
Former Sotheby's chairman guilty
15 Apr 02 | Arts
Art worth 30m up for auction
03 Apr 02 | Arts
Art collection could fetch 15m
06 Feb 02 | Arts
Bacon paintings sold for 1.9m
26 Jun 01 | Arts
Monet art sale raises millions
04 Feb 02 | Arts
Monks sell 8m art
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