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In bidding confusion at Sotheby’s, unseen Van Gogh initially sells for €16.2m but is then resold for €13m at end of auction

In bidding confusion at Sotheby’s, unseen Van Gogh initially sells for €16.2m but is then resold for €13m at end of auction

ART WORLD NEWS

In bidding confusion at Sotheby’s, unseen Van Gogh initially sells for €16.2m but is then resold for €13m at end of auction

Vincent van Gogh’s Scène de rue à Montmartre/Montmartre Street Scene (Impasse des Deux Frères et le Moulin à Poivre) (February-April 1887)
Courtesy of Sotheby’s/ArtDigital Studio

An 1887 painting by Vincent van Gogh, which has never before been exhibited, has sold for €11.2m (€13m with fees) at Sotheby’s Paris. Although the work was fresh to auction, this was its second time under the hammer, having been nearly sold less than an hour before. Scène de rue à Montmartre (Impasse des deux frères et le Moulin à Poivre), depicting a Parisian street scene, carried an estimate of €5m-€8m ($6.1m to $9.8m). Aurélie Vandevoorde, the head of the Impressionist and Modern Art department at Sotheby’s Paris, fielded bids in a 10-minute-long bidding war that emerged between specialists Nicolas Chow in Hong Kong and Samuel Valette in London. But as the bid came to €12m, an online buyer swooped in. Despite banging the gavel at €13.5m to Valette, Vandevoorde quickly retracted, as the online bidder had apparently secured the painting at €14m (€16.2m with fees), seemingly in the nick of time.But several lots later, Vandevoorde announced that the sale would be reopened at the end of the auction. Sotheby’s have yet to provide an explanation for why this happened. Both Valette and Chow stepped back in the ring, but this time the third online bidder was nowhere to be found. After a speedier round, Valette’s phone bidder secured the work for more than €2m less than they offered in the first sale attempt. The work was sold in conjunction with the Parisian auction house Mirabaud Mercier.The vendor belongs to the same family that bought the work in 1920, likely from either one of Van Gogh’s artists friends, or Père Julien Tanguy, a paintseller who sold him materials and also stored many of his pictures. “The majority of paintings from this Montmartre series are today in large international museums, so it’s extremely rare to still have one in private hands, especially one that has been with the same family for a century,” said Vandevoorde before the sale.Several works performed well in the sale of Impressionist and Modern works, including a Nazi looted Pissaro that made €3.3m (with fees) against a high estimate of €1.8m and a racecourse painting by Jean-François Raffaëlli from the Polignac Foundation that hammered for €240,000 against a high estimate of €80,000. The virtual gavel will now be handed to Oliver Barker, who will soon recommence with the cross-category Modern Renaissance sale in London. Arshille Gorky ,300,000 GBP7,300,0• This is a live article and will be updated


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