A good day for Greek art at London auction

The third successive sale of Greek art carried out earlier this month in London, by Bonhams auctioneers in collaboration with the Greek Art Expertise company, was the most successful, according to the figures. Focused on the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the auction put more than 100 works on sale and gathered the attention of mostly Greek buyers. According to Terpsichore Angelopoulou of Greek Art Expertise, 75 percent of the works were sold and 80 percent of that percentage fell within the range of the estimates. Angelopoulou also said that the sale raised a higher total than previous Greek sales at Bonhams and was exceptional in setting three new auction records for Greek artists. The highlight of the sale was a rare portrait showing the ballerina Mademoiselle Schwartz, which was auctioned off at the record price of 116,650 pounds sterling (166,333 euros). «Bathers on the Boat,» a painting by Theofrastos Triandafyllidis, was auctioned off at 30,671 euros, setting a record price for the artist. Yiannis Spyropoulos’s «Strophe No. 3,» which went under the hammer at 56,231 euros, was the sale’s third record price for an artist. Both works surpassed their initial estimates by far. Several works were singled out by the auctioneers for their rarity. Among them was a previously unknown portrait by Nikolaos Gyzis. The work depicts a zeybek, one of the irregular soldiers serving the Ottoman Empire. The second most expensive work of the sale, it went for 134,963 euros, which was the average estimate. «Seated Girl,» by the great expressionist Greek painter Georgios Bouzianis, was another of the sale’s significant paintings. The work, which is dated to the artist’s early Munich period (1906-1928), originally belonged to the collection of Heinrich Barchfeld, the artist’s dealer in Leipzig. It was sold at 85,198 euros. Estimated at a total 1.03 million pounds, this successful Bonhams sale highlights the demand for Greek art among a mostly Greek public. The area is a specialized one with a small market but judging from the recurring sales, a profitable one.

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