Phillips fares well in London contemporary sales

Phillips de Pury & Co. succeeded in selling 77 percent of the lots in its contemporary art sales in London this week, totaling $8.44 million with fees, a big decline from last year but respectable in the current times. The top priced work was Ed Ruscha’s 1989 word painting, That Was Then This Is Now. Estimated at £600–800,000, it sold to a lone bidder for £713,250. John Chamberlain’s 1963 scrap-car-part sculpture, Mr. Moto, was the second most desirable work, fetching £529,250. “The market is still selective. But business is being done out there,” said Gerard Faggionato, a London art dealer, while Wendy Goldsmith, a London art adviser, optimistically stated, “The market has stabilized. From now on things will improve.”