Sale of the Week, April 29-May 5: Bank-Breaking Impressionist and Modern Evening Auctions

Paul Signac's "Les bricks-goélettes. Antibes" is estimated to fetch $4,000,000-6,000,000 at Christie's Impressionist & Modern Evening Sale on May 1.
(Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd.)

SALE: Impressionist and Modern Art at Christie's and Sotheby's


DATE: May 1-3

ABOUT: Gigabytes of server space have already been dedicated to writing about the two highest-valued works of art being sold next week, Cezanne's watercolor study for "Card Players" on Tuesday (est. $15-20 million) at Christie's and the much-anticipated auction of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" (est. in excess of $80 million) at Sotheby's on Tuesday. But there will be more to the sales than just those two works — expect millions to be spent on Pablo Picasso works and a general affinity in the room for early-20th century modern painting and sculpture.

There are no fewer than six Picasso canvases in the catalogue for the petite, 32-lot sale at Christie's. The offerings range from "Deux nus couchés" (1968) — estimated to fetch $8-12 million — to a watercolor entitled "Sur la terrasse" (1933) and valued at a relatively affordable $500,000-700,000. The top-estimated sculpture in the sale is Alberto Giacometti's "Buste de Diego," 1957, (est. $8-12 million). There is also a "Reclining figure" sculpture, 1956, by the star of the February auctions in London, Henry Moore (est. $4-6 million). At Wednesday's day sale, Chaïm Soutine's "Jeune homme obliquement étendu," 1921-22, from the artist's "Praying Man" series is expected to fetch the highest price of the day (est. $600,000-800,000).

Sotheby's has a much larger catalogue for the evening sale. In addition to the "Scream," three other works have low estimates in the eight-figure range: a Picasso (the colorful "Femme assise dans un fauteuil," 1941, which could hammer down between $20-30 million); Joan Miró's "Tête Humaine," 1931, estimated to bring $10-15 million; and Soutine's portrait of a Parisian waiter, "Le chasseur de Chez Maxim's," 1925, which is also estimated at $10-15 million. Thursday's day sale at Sotheby's will likely be topped by Picasso's "Tête de jeune garcon," 1965, which the auction house estimates will sell for $800,000-1.2 million.


Sale: Furniture and Decorative Art
Location: Leslie Hindman Chicago
Date: April 29-May 1

Sale: Collectors' Motor Cars and Automobilia
Location: Bonhams Hendon (RAF Museum)
Date: April 30, 11am

Sale: Historic U.S.S. Constitution Colors from the Collection of H. Richard Dietrich, Jr.
Location: Freemans Philadelphia
Date: April 30, 6pm

Sale: Vintage Sports Collectibles
Location: Heritage Dallas
Date: May 3-5

Sale: From the Private Collection of Prince and Princess Henry de la Tour D'Auvergne Lauraguais
Location: Sotheby's London
Date: May 3, 10:30am