ART NEWSROOM International

Everyone Loves a Happy Ending...

Paul Cézanne
$29,319,170 for “Pewter pitcher and fruit”

Detail of "Bouilloire et fruits"
by Paul Cézanne.
LONDON - report compiled by Rachel Le Goff

An anonymous private collector bidding on the telephone in a sale of Impressionist and Modern Art paid US$29,319,170 (£18,151,500) for Cezanne's still-life painting “Pewter pitcher and fruit”, on Tuesday 7th December at Sotheby’s London auction house.  The pre-sale estimate had been for only £9-12 million (about $14.6 - 19 million).  A painting always sells well when there is a 'story' attached to it and this painting had received previous publicity as it was stolen from a member of the Bakwin family but successfully recovered by the Art Loss Register, the internationally recognised central database for stolen and missing art and antiques. 
Until a month ago the painting was considered stolen property. The painting dated to 1888-90 is considered to be one of Cezanne’s best works and was stolen from its American owners in 1978. The painting was recovered this year after an underwriter from Lloyds, who had been asked to insure the painting, raised his suspicions with the Art Loss Registry. 

Executed at the peak of Cezanne’s career, the work shows an arrangement of brilliantly-coloured apples and oranges, placed next to a pewter pitcher and nestling in the luminous folds of a tablecloth.


Julian Ratcliff of the Art Loss Register, said: 

“We are extremely pleased for Mr Bakwin and for all those involved in the recovery and the restitution of stolen works of art. Tonight’s results could not have been achieved without the help of Sotheby’s.”
Melanie Clore, Deputy Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe and the head of Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art department in London, said: 
“We are delighted to have had the opportunity to sell the Cézanne this evening and it has crowned a highly successful sale.

A Van Gogh drawing also made a world record price of $8,530,930 (£5,281,500) exceeding its estimate of £1.5-2 million.
The important pen and ink drawing Oliviers avec Les Alpilles au fond by Vincent Van Gogh was the subject of a recent restitution ruling in which the work was returned to its rightful owner. The drawing was originally part of the renowned art
collection formed by Mr Max Silberburg, of Breslau, Germany, who was forced to sell his collection by the Nazis in 1935. It subsequently found its way into the collection of the National Gallery of Berlin, where it  remained until its recent restitution. It was bought by dealers De Pury and Luxembourg Art on behalf of a private client who intends to make it a future gift to the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

At the same auction twenty-five Picassos owned by Gianni Versace were sold for almost $18 million (£10,841,850). The painting “Femme assise sur une chaise” by Picasso was bought for $5.4 million, while a wonderful rendering of Picasso’s eldest daughter (with Marie-Therese Walter), Maya was bought by a  European private collector for  $6,043,450 (£3,741,500).
The evening sale totalled £40,770,450 ($65,854,383) for Sotheby's. The second part of the sale was scheduled for 8th December.


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