Auctions

Degas' Shining Moment at Christie's Impressionist Sale

Christie’s Impressionist and modern art sale on Tuesday may have been a disappointment, but a painting by Degas brought in a half-million dollars more than its $9 million high estimate. Ken Yeh, deputy chairman of Chrisite’s in Asia, took in the winning bid on Danseuses, the 1896 pastel of one of the artist’s signature young dancers massaging her foot. Though the sale price was surprising, the lure of the classic Impressionist work was not, considering buyers have reportedly been gravitating toward such “prettier works” since the recession started to take its toll. Rodin’s sculpture of bronze kisses, which was conceived in 1880-81 and cast between 1887 and 1901, also brought an element of excitement to the auction. Six bidders had their paddles on the work, which eventually sold for $5.6 million, nearly three times its high $2 million estimate. Still, both a Picasso and Monet fell short of their estimates. Of the 40 works on offer, prices fell below estimates, totaling $65.6 million, $3 million short of the expected total sales.