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Last Updated: Friday, 5 November, 2004, 15:59 GMT
Modern art auction fetches $195m
Maternite II by Gaugin
Gauguin's Maternite II set a new record for the artist at $39.2m
Works by Gauguin and Modigliani helped an auction reach the highest total for an impressionist and modern art sale since 1990, making $194.3m (106m).

Gauguin's 1899 Maternite II fetched $39.2m (21.3m) at Thursday's sale at Sotheby's in New York.

A portrait by Modigliani set an artist record, going for $31.4m (17m).

But Kandinsky's Sketch for Deluge II, estimated to make between $20m (11m) and $30m, failed to sell - with no bids beyond $16.5m (9m).

Despite the total, the sale fetched less than expected, with a pre-auction estimate of between $203.5m (111m) and $275.6m (150m).

On the Kandinsky, Sotheby's co-chair of impressionist and modern art, David Norman, said he was not too disappointed.

"We can be patient," he said, adding the portrait by Modigliani could not even fetch $600,000 (325,000) when it went on offer in 1979-1980.

Sale season

"This work's time will come, too," he said.

Mondrian's modernist work New York 1941/Boogie Woogie was another record-breaker, selling for $21m.

And Henry Moore's sculpture, Three-Piece Reclining Figure: Draped, made $8m (4.3m).

Sotheby's and rival auction house Christie's will both hold their contemporary and post-war auctions on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A painting of the Houses of Parliament in London by Claude Monet sold for $20m as part of the Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale at Christie's earlier this week.

The sale, which also included works by Miro and Van Gogh, fetched a total of $128.2m (69.3m).

Sotheby's enjoys surge in profits
09 Aug 04 |  Business
Monet oil painting fetches $20m
04 Nov 04 |  Entertainment
Pop Art takes Christie's by storm
01 Jul 04 |  Entertainment

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