Huge surge in international buyers at Sotheby’s sales

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This week’s record breaking series of Impressionist, Modern and Surrealist Art sales at Sotheby’s London highlights the level of global participation now present in the art market. That is the view of Georgina Pemberton, co-head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale.

“Demonstrating the global interest at each level of the art market, in today’s sale we saw collectors from a record high of 52 countries participating – an increase of 11% in the geographical breadth of buyers from last year,” she said.

Sotheby’s series of Impressionist, Modern and Surrealist Art sales concluded yesterday afternoon having realised a combined total of £212,032,875 million.

Over the course of two days Sotheby’s saw registrants from a record number of countries, vying for works of all media and across a broad price range.

Sotheby’s evening sale of Impressionist, Modern and Surrealist art broke records on Tuesday, bringing in £186.5m – the highest for any auction ever held in London, in any category. Some 85.33% sold by lot, with 56.5% sold above their high estimate

The sale followed a £25.6m day sale, at which Pierre-August Renoir’s Jeune Fille Lisant sold for £1,181,00 – more than triple its pre-sale high estimate.

Helena Newman, Sotheby’s Co-Head, Impressionist & Modern Art Worldwide, said yesterday:

“We are thrilled to have launched the first London auctions of 2015 by propelling the global market to new heights. We saw strong participation from all corners of the world last night, and today’s sale underscores the remarkable international appetite for exemplary, rare and museum-quality works. It is a privilege to be entrusted with such outstanding works and thestellar results of the sales reflect their exceptional quality.”