RECORD SETTING PRICES AND ONE-OF-A-KIND COLLECTIONS IN RAGO’S $2.8M MAY FINE ART AUCTION

Lambertville, NJ: Rago Arts and Auction Center’s May Fine Art Auctions brought in $2,887,000 in sales on Saturday, May 6. The highest price achieved by a single lot went to Lot 223, Yves Klein’s Venus Bleue which sold for $137,500 against an estimate of $60,000-90,000. Several other fine works defied expectations and shattered estimates, including Lot 513, an untitled work by Serge Poliakoff which sold for $81,250 against an estimate of $25,000-35,000; Lot 203, an untitled work by Yaacov Agam which sold for $68,750 against an estimate of $8,000-12,000; and Lot 4, an untitled portrait by Fernand Toussaint which sold for $35,000 against an estimate of $6,000-8,000. Multiple auction records were set: for Lenore Tawney (Lot 519, sold for $9,375 against est. of $2,000-3,000), Gary Weisman (Lot 180, sold for $15,000 against est. of $2,000-3,000), Bernardino Palazzi (Lot 627, sold for $11,875 against est. of $2,500-3,500), and Franz Jozef Ponstingl (Lot 83, sold for $5,313 against est. of $2,500-4,500). Also of note: Lot 65, an untitled landscape by Fern Isabel Kuns Coppedge which sold for $20,000 against an estimate of $6,000-9,000; Lot 200, Mary Bauermeister’s Yes for Segy-ies which sold for $35,000 against an estimate of $8,000-12,000; Lot 266, an untitled work by Theodore Van Rysselberghe, which sold for $45,000 against an estimate of $4,000-6,000; and Lot 705, Eduardo Chillida’s Gravitation, which sold for $75,000 against an estimate of $35,000-55,000.

“Our May sales were strong in a variety of categories,” says Meredith Hilferty, Director of Rago’s Fine Art Department, “At the top of the heap were paintings from European artists that spanned the entire 20th Century including Poliakoff, Debre, Agam, Toussaint and Van Rysselberghe. Personnally, I was thrilled to see the work of women artists in such high demand – bidders fought hard for works by Mary Bauermeister, Olga de Amaral and Lenore Tawney”.

Weekend Total Hammer: $2,309,600
Hammer + 25% buyer’s premium: $2,887,000
Low Estimate: $2,287,300
High Estimate: $3,445,450
Bidders in-house: 77
Bidders on phone: 288
Absentee Bidders: 92
Number of lots: 639
Online bidders: 1,389 from US, UK, Russia, Spain, Puerto Rico, Netherlands, Italy, France, Chile, Hong Kong, Belgium, Canada, Singapore, Andorra, Mexico, German, American Samoa, Australia, Austria, China, Greece, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Luxembourg, Monaco, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and United Arab Emirates.

19th/20th C. American/European Art
Hammer: $437,650
Hammer + 25% buyer’s premium: $547,063
Low Estimate: $509,600
High Estimate: $767,500
Number of lots: 183

Property from an Important New York Collection
Hammer: $702,200
Hammer + 25% buyer’s premium: $877,750
Low Estimate: $634,300
High Estimate: $955,050
Number of lots: 127

Post-War + Contemporary Art
Hammer: $1,169,750
Hammer + 25% buyer’s premium: $1,462,188
Low Estimate: $1,143,400
High Estimate: $1,722,900
Number of lots: 329

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