Published: November 5, 2015
NEW YORK CITY — The first of Sotheby’s extensive auctions of property from the collection of A. Alfred Taubman concluded on November 4 with a total of $377 million, passing its low estimate of $374.8 million with 89.6 percent of lots finding buyers. The Masterworks sale was led by “Paulette Jourdain,” one of the finest and final portraits ever painted by Amedeo Modigliani, which sold for $42.8 million. Five bidders competed for the work from all corners of the globe, and it eventually sold to an Asian private collector. Taubman acquired the portrait from Acquavella Galleries in 1983 and this sale was its first-ever appearance at auction.
In other sale highlights, Frank Stella’s “Delaware Crossing” more than doubled the previous auction record for the artist, selling for $13.7 million. It is one of a small group of paintings from Stella’s celebrated “Benjamin Moore Paintings” series.
Purchased by Taubman in 1977 – just one year after it was painted – Willem de Kooning’s Untitled XXI sold for $24.9 million.
Two Abstract Expressionist canvases by Mark Rothko were led by untitled (Lavender and Green) from 1952, which brought $20.4 million.
Pablo Picasso’s 1938 portrait of “Dora Maar Femme assise sur une chaise” sold for $20.1 million. It was acquired by Taubman at Sotheby’s in 1999 from the collection of Gianni Versace.
The firm’s dedicated sales of the Taubman collection continue on November 5 with Modern and Contemporary art, and more than 400 additional works from the collection will be auctioned throughout 2016.
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