Sotheby’s Highest Total in 14 Years

New
York, NY, November 4, 2004 – Tonight at Sotheby’s a masterpiece
by Paul Gauguin, Maternité (II), sold for $39,208,000,
a record for the artist at auction. The Tahitian scene was the
highlight of a sale of Impressionist and Modern Art which totaled
$194,289,600, the highest total for a various owner’s sale at
Sotheby’s in 14 years. The evening’s auction also featured Amedeo
Modigliani’s sublime painting of his wife, Jeanne Hébuterne
(Devant une Porte), which brought $31,368,000, also a record
for the artist at auction. Additional artist records were established
for Piet Mondrian, Henry Moore, Chaïm Soutine and Dame
Barbara Hepworth. With three works exceeding $20 million, the
sale was 89.1% sold by value and 78.7% sold by lot.

"Tonight we saw a healthy market with a powerful appetite
for great works, as evidenced by the records set for major blue-clip
Modern artists such as Paul Gauguin, Amedeo Modigliani and Piet
Mondrian," said David Norman, Co-Chairman of Sotheby’s
Impressionist and Modern Art Department Worldwide. "It
was also a fantastic night for sculpture, with records achieved
for Henry Moore and Dame Barbara Hepworth. There was strength
across the market from Impressionist works right through to
late Picasso."

Highlighting the sale was Paul Gauguin’s Maternité (II)
from 1899, which sold for a record-breaking $39,208,000, with
three bidders competing for this great work. Painted while the
artist was living in the Punaauia district of Tahiti, the work
was completed around the time that Gauguin’s 17-year-old Polynesian
mistress, Pahura, gave birth to the couple’s son in April 1899.
The iconic work, which captures the artist’s fascination with
the mystique of the tropics and its people, is one of only a
handful of great works by Gauguin remaining in private hands.

Amedeo Modigliani’s Jeanne Hébuterne (Devant une Porte),
consigned by the Estate of Wendell Cherry, was another outstanding
highlight of the evening, selling for $31,368,000, also a record
for the artist at auction. As many as five bidders fought for
the elegant three-quarter length portrait which Charles Moffett,
Co-Chairman of Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Department
Worldwide, has referred to as "without question, one of
the best works Modigliani ever produced." Also from the
Estate of Wendell Cherry was Chaïm Soutine’s Le Chasseur
de Chez Maxim’s which sparked frenzied bidding, driving the
final price to $6,728,000, a record for the artist at auction,
and tripling the previous record. This quintessential image
by Soutine, depicting one of his favorite subjects, a uniformed
employee from one of the most famous restaurants in Paris, had
been estimated to sell for $2.5/3.5 million.*

New York/ Boogie Woogie by Piet Mondrian, from the collection
of Hester Diamond, sold for $21,008,000, a record for the artist
at auction. The first of the artist’s legendary Boogie-Woogie
series, considered the most innovative works of his career,
the present work was completed during the years that he lived
in New York (1940-1944). Also from the Diamond Collection was
The Kiss by Constantin Brancusi from circa 1908, the only version
of this work remaining in private hands, which sold for $8,968,000;
and Pablo Picasso’s still-life, Dés, verre, bouteille
de Bass, carte à jouer et carte de visite, a jewel of
Synthetic Cubism, which inspired spirited bidding, finally selling
for $4,264,000, above a high estimate of $2.5 million.

"Sculpture across the board performed exceedingly well
tonight, continuing a trend of the past five years, commented
Mr. Moffett." Among the highlights of the evening was one
of Henry Moore’s greatest large-scale figures, Three-Piece Reclining
Figure: Draped, from the Collection of Philip and Muriel Berman
of Allentown, Pennsylvania, which sold for $8,408,000, a record
for the artist at auction. Conceived in 1975 and acquired by
the Bermans directly from the artist on January 18, 1980, the
monumental bronze had been estimated to sell for $4/6 million.
Also by Moore was Reclining Figure: Angles which brought $3,592,000.
In addition to Henry Moore, the Bermans’ enthusiasm for British
sculptors is evidenced by their holdings of works by Dame Barbara
Hepworth. Tonight’s Hepworth’s The Family of Man: Figure 1,
Ancestor 1 sold for $1,128,000, establishing a record for the
artist at auction. Completed in 1970, only five years before
her death, the towering vertical structure had been estimated
to sell for $400/500,000. Virtually every work from this collection
sold over its high estimate.

Also from the Berman Collection was a late work by Pablo Picasso,
L’Aubade, from a series of oils completed during the first half
1967 that depict a flutist playing his instrument rhapsodically
for his lover, which sold, after a lengthy bidding battle, for
$5,384,000. It had been estimated to sell for $2/3 million.
Another late work by Picasso which exceeded expectations was
Femme nue assise dans un fauteuil, which sold $5,048,000, above
the high estimate of $3.5 million.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s ravishing Les Rosiers à Wargemont,
a view of the rose garden at the home of his patron Paul Bérard,
brought $7,512,000, despite having been on the market as recently
1999 when it sold for $6.2 million. Another Impressionist highlight,
also by Renoir, was a portrait of Paul Bérard, painted
in 1880, which was sought-after by as many as four bidders,
finally selling for $2,696,000, above a high estimate of $1.5
million.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium.

For More Information, Please Contact Sotheby’s Press Office
at 212 606 7176

Press Contacts:
Diana Phillips
Matthew Weigman
Lauren Gioia
(212) 606-7176
fax: (212) 606 7381

For more information visit WWW.SOTHEBYS.COM


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