Christie’s Spring Marquee Week Exceeds $1.44 Billion In Sales

This May, Christie’s experienced a banner week of Marquee Sales. Comprised of eight live sales and two online sales, the Spring Marquee Week generated a total of $1,443,870,244, with approximately 25% of proceeds going to benefit philanthropic initiatives.

From start to finish, the week saw stellar results, beginning with the second highest price ever realized at auction, for Warhol’s Marilyn, and ending with the record-breaking sale of an iconic Man Ray photograph. Fifty new records were set throughout the course of the week—40% of them for women artists and artists of color. Bidders came to Christie’s globally, hailing from 54 countries in the Americas, EMEA, and APAC.

Christie’s Spring Marquee Week Exceeds $1.44 Billion In Sales

The sales were live-streamed across 11 platforms, with more than 3.7 million viewers throughout the week.

“At Christie’s, we are privileged and honored to work with the finest art objects in history, spanning all categories and eras. This season, it was a true thrill for us to bring this unmatched series of sales to life. We saw record-breaking sales from established artists including Warhol, Degas, and Man Ray, to exciting new market stars such as Ernie Barnes and Ewa Juszkiewicz. It was particularly rewarding to bring to auction collections assembled by female collectors including Doris Ammann, Rosalind Jacobs, and Anne Bass.”

Bonnie Brennan, President of Christie’s Americas

The Collection Of Thomas And Doris Ammann Evening Sale

The week began Monday, 9 May with The Collection of Thomas and Doris Ammann Evening Sale. The 36 lots sold to benefit The Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation, closed with the historic sale of Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn realizing $195,040,000—the most expensive 20th-century artwork to sell at auction. The sale in total achieved $317,806,490, with 68% of lots selling above the high estimate and establishing record prices for eight artists.

21st Century Evening Sale

Sales continued Tuesday, 10 May, with the 21st Century Evening Sale totaling $103,064,200, selling 114% hammer above the low estimate. The 31-lot auction was led by Gerhard Richter’s, Abstraktes Bild, which sold for $36,500,000, and the sale established ten new artist records.

The Collection Of Anne H. Bass

The evening of Thursday, 12 May began with a single-owner sale of 12 exquisite works from The Collection of Anne H. Bass. The most significant American collection to come to market this season, the group achieved $363,087,500. The collection was 100% sold, and 149% sold above the low estimate. The top lot was Monet’s Le Parlement, soleil couchant, which realized $75,960,000. Two artist records were established, including a new record for Edgar Degas.

20th Century Evening Sale

Immediately following The Collection of Anne H. Bass, the 20th Century Evening Sale commenced, realizing $468,174,000; 98% by lot, 99% by value, and 119% sold against low estimate. Leading the sale was Jackson Pollock’s Number 31, realizing $54,205,000. Six new artist records were set, including The Sugar Shack by Ernie Barnes which sold for $15,275,000—76 times its high estimate.

Thursday evening concluded with The Raptor, Deinonychus Antirrhopus, the most complete fossilized skeleton of this species extant, which achieved $12,412,500 against an estimate of $4,000,000 – 6,000,000.

Post-War And Contemporary Art Day Sale

Day sales began Friday, 13 May with the Post-War and Contemporary Art Sale achieving $97,166,838 and establishing 17 artist records. The 347-lot auction sold 93% by lot, 96% by value, and 151% hammer above the low estimate. Leading the sale were two outstanding works—Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) and Wayne Thiebaud’s Three Ice Cream Cones. Both achieved $4,980,000.

The sale featured 66 lots from The Collection of Thomas and Doris Ammann, which totaled $7,304,598. The auction featured an additional seven groupings of works sold to benefit philanthropic initiatives across the three sessions of the sale.

The Surrealist World Of Rosalind Gersten Jacobs And Melvin Jacobs

Saturday, 14 May, the final day of live sales, began with The Surrealist World of Rosalind Gersten Jacobs and Melvin Jacobs which totaled $42,330,074. The iconic Man Ray masterpiece Le Violon d’Ingres was the top lot, setting a new record for a photograph, selling for $12,412,500. Results were exceptional, selling 99% by value and 92% by lot, 182% hammer above the low estimate. Records were set for a number of artists including Dorothea Tanning, William Nelson Copley, and Noma Copley.

Impressionist And Modern Art Work On Paper And Day Sale

Live sales came to close on Saturday, 14 May with the Impressionist and Modern Art Works on Paper and Day Sale achieving $37,154,922, The auction sold 87% by value, 85% by lot, and 103% hammer above the low estimate. The top lot was a fantastic oil painting by Claude Monet, Soleil couchant, temps brumeux, Pourville, which achieved $5,100,000, a record for the highest work ever sold in a Day Sale in the Impressionist and Modern Art category at Christie’s.

Picasso Ceramics Online

Picasso Ceramics Online closed on Monday, 16 May. It was 100% sold, realizing a total of $2,256,660. Leading the sale was Vallauris (A.R. 331) selling for $201,600 against an estimate of $20,000 – 30,000.

The Surrealist World Of Rosalind Gersten Jacobs And Melvin Jacobs Online Sale

The Surrealist World of Rosalind Gersten Jacobs and Melvin Jacobs Online Sale concluded on Thursday, 19 May. The sale totaled $417,060. The top lot of the sale was Man Ray’s Revolving Doors which sold for $52,920 against an estimate of $20,000 – 30,000.

Philanthropic Initiatives Supported
• The Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation
• Artists for Ukraine: Property to Benefit Doctors Without Borders
• Art for Vaccines: Property Sold to Benefit CARE’s Global COVID-19 Response
• From the Studio to Benefit amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research
• Helping Children Heal: Artwork Donated To Benefit Rxart
• Property to Benefit CORE: Community Organized Relief Effort
• Property to Benefit the Bronx Museum of the Arts, on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary
• Sold by the Farnsworth Art Museum with Proceeds Dedicated to the Acquisitions Fund
• Property of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, sold to benefit the Acquisition Fund
• Property Sold to Benefit POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews


The Collection of Thomas and Doris Ammann Evening Sale

  1. Andy Warhol
  2. Ann Craven
  3. Francesco Clemente
  4. Martin Disler
  5. Mary Heilmann
  6. Mike Bidlo
  7. Ross Bleckner
  8. Urs Fischer Painting
    21st Century Evening Sale
  9. Anna Weyant
  10. Eric Fischl
  11. Ewa Juszkiewicz
  12. Helmut Newton
  13. Joel Mesler
  14. Matthew Wong
  15. Ouattara Watts
  16. Reggie Burrows Hodges
  17. Shara Hughes
  18. Tom Sachs
    The Collection of Anne H. Bass
  19. Edgar Degas
  20. Vilhelm Hammershøi
    20th Century Evening Sale
  21. Ernie Barnes
  22. Howardena Pindell
  23. Grace Hartigan
  24. Emanuel Leutze
  25. Blinky Palermo
  26. Pablo Picasso Sculpture
    Post-War & Contemporary Day Sale
  27. Alessandro Twombly
  28. Deborah Kass
  29. En Iwamura
  30. Godwin Champs Namuyimba
  31. Janet Cooling
  32. Jenny Holzer
  33. Klaudia Schifferle
  34. Lois Lane
  35. Louis Fratino
  36. Lynne Drexler
  37. Michael Mogavero
  38. Milo Reice
  39. Rainer Fetting
  40. Rosalyn Drexler
  41. Tim of Finland
  42. Tim Rollins & K.O.S.
  43. Todd Bienvenu
    The Surrealist World of Rosalind Gersten Jacobs and Melvin Jacobs
  44. Man Ray
  45. Dorothea Tanning
  46. Gilbert & George
  47. Noma Copley
  48. Richard Humphry
  49. William Nelson Copley
  50. Man Ray Jewelry

Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had auction sales in the first half of 2019 that totalled £2.2 billion / $2.8 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectables, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.