Impressionist Paintings set more record prices at Christie’s

Claude Monet's Le Bassin Aux Nympheas fetched at £40.92 million Christie's Impressionist and Modern Art auction last night. The painting of waterlillies floating on water sold for more than double its pre sale estimate and the double the prior record for a Monet.

According to The Wall Street Journal, 15 of the 81 pieces up for auction did not sell. The 66 items that did sell brought in more than £144.44 million. Demand for art continues to increase, regardless of traditional economic indicators.

Other artwork also set record prices as well. Henry Moore's Draped Reclining Woman set a record of £4.2 million for a Moore work. Edgar Degas' Danseuses à la barre brought in more than £13.48 million, Les fleurs by Nathalia Goncharova brought in more than £5.5 million and Pablo Picasso's La carafe (Bouteille et verre) realized £3.74 million.

How high will the market go?

Sotheby’s Posts Loss on Lower Sales, Higher Salaries

Southeby's loses money this quarter, CEO attributes loss to the credit crunch and guarantees

From the story:
Sotheby's, the world's largest publicly traded auctioneer of art and collectibles, disappointed investors with a first-quarter loss and said revenue from auctions declined.

The shares fell $2.56, or 9.3 percent, to $24.91, at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock has lost half of its value in the past year.

Read the full story by Philip Boroff and Dan Hart at Bloomberg.com