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Alexander Forbes' Berlin Art Brief

Dorotheum Auction House Enjoys its Most Successful Year to Date

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Vienna’s Dorotheum auction house announced its most successful year ever on Wednesday, breaking several artist records and further high results across the visual arts. With the house’s historical dominance in old masters, Lorenzo Lippi’s “The Triumph of David/Der Triumph Davids” (est. €120,000 – 150,000) led the year, selling for a rather astronomical €869,800.

However, Lippi was far from the year’s most surprising result. That honor goes to relatively unknown 16 century Venetian painter Bartolomeo Veneto. His “Bildnis des Kardinals Ippolito d’Este / Portrait of Cardinal Ippolito d’Este” was set to go for a mere €15,000 maximum as the work was brought up to the auction block. However, ruthlessly competitive bidding brought the final price to nearly 25 times that amount, for an artist world record of €366,300.

Evidently, it’s not the sales in older art, however, about which the Dorotheum’s managing director Martin Böhm is most excited. With his continual effort to help enliven Vienna’s contemporary art scene, the Vienna Art Week, Böhm’s auctioneers saw positive results from 20 and 21 century works in 2012 as well. An Anish Kapoor untitled wall piece hurdled its way to €758,800 in the spring to capture the house’s number two spot for the year.

Just two weeks ago, the house saw further success with 60s era art. Günther Uecker — one of the hottest names on the auction block this fall — brought €253,330 for his “Taktile Struktur rotierend / Rotating tactile structure” from 1961 (est. €140,000 – 180,000), a similar example of which is in the Peggy Guggenheim collection. Robert Indiana’s “Eight” (1965) beat it out both in terms of price and performance however, doubling down on its €150,000 high estimate for a final price of €317,500.

Dorotheum’s Top Ten Results for 2012:

  1. Lorenzo Lippi “The Triumph of David/Der Triumph Davids” (est. €120,000 – 150,000): €869,800
  2. Anish Kapoor “Untitled” (2001) (est. €400,000 – 600,000): €754,800
  3. Melchior de Hondecoeter : Das Vogelkonzert, signiert und datiert (auf dem Notenbuch): M. de Hondecoeter 1670 / he Concert of Birds, signed and dated (on the book of music): M. de Hondecoeter 1670” (est. €450,000 – 500,000) : €711,300
  4. Max Ernst “Les jeunes et les jeux twistent / Youngsters and Games go Twisting” (est. €500,000 – 600,000): €605,300
  5. Lucio Fontana “Concetto spaziale” (1968) (est. €400,000 – 600,000): €582,300
  6. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec “Nu dans l’atelier” (est. €400,000 – 600,000): €481,300
  7. Egon Schiele “Sitzender weiblicher Akt von oben gesehen / Seated female nude seen from above” (1912) (est. 250,00 – 320,000): €398,300
  8. Josse de Momper/Jan Brueghel II “Dörfliche Szene am Ziehbrunnen / Village Scene at the Well” (est. €350,000 – 400,000): €398,300
  9. Bartolomeo Veneto “Bildnis des Kardinals Ippolito d’Este / Portrait of Cardinal Ippolito d’Este” (est. €15,000 – 20,000): €366,300, artist world record
  10. Guiliano Bugiardini “Bildnis einer Dame / Portrait of a Lady” (est. €150,000 – 200,000): €329,300

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