Overall the results of Christie's London Impressionist & Modern and Surrealist Art evening sales on February 5th 2020 looked very strong and definitely better than Sotheby's the night before. Data analysis however shows that behind a few successful artworks, many other works did not perform as well, leaving a large number of sellers with disappointing results.
The combined total Hammer Price (HP) of Christie's London Impressionist & Modern and Surrealist Art evening sales comfortably landed in between the sales' initial estimates (LE and HE).
Christie's successfully pushed the two lots for which it had offered "naked" auction house guarantees (ie guarantees without irrevocable bids or third party guarantees) as "Gefahrliche Strasse" by George Grosz (in light green below) and "A la Rencontre du Plaisir" by Rene Magritte achieved HP close to 200% their LE.
Christie's also secured Irrevocable Bids/Third Pary Guarantees on other very top lots (“Portrait de Marjorie Ferry” by de Tamara Lempicka, “Nature Morte au Chien” by Pablo Picasso, etc.), which provided certainty if not performance for the top sellers.
All remaining artworks, without guarantees, were fully exposed to the volatility of the market and almost 50% of the lots auctioned obtained HP below their LE or even their reserve
While a few top lots performed extremely well at Christie's London Impressionist & Modern and Surrealist Art evening sales on February 5th 2020, allowing the auction house to obtain great results on the sale, results were mixed for many sellers as more than 50% of the lots auctioned obtained Hammer Prices (HP) at or below their initial Low Estimates (LE).