CULTURE

Bonhams Greek sale outperforms at time of economic crisis

Bonhams has maintained its market share in Greek art auctions that take place abroad. On May 18, it gathered 4.1 million euros – commission included – which is 1.3 million more than the lowest estimated price on all works. This was the first time that Bonhams managed to outdo its competitor Sotheby’s in turnover. At its most recent Greek sale, Sotheby’s, which has experienced a serious downturn in its recent auctions, reported turnover of 3.8 million euros, commission included. At the recent Bonhams auction, 83 percent of the works that went under the hammer were sold, the highest percentage ever recorded for a Greek sale, or 90 percent in terms of value, at a time when the art market has been hit by the global economic crisis. Constantinos Parthenis’s «Dawn (Aurora)» fetched the highest price, selling at 402,280 euros. One of the most important works of the 1920s era, it comes from the collection of Dionysios Loverdos. Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika’s «Studio with Easel» came in second place at 364,312 euros. It is the artist’s second most expensive painting ever to be auctioned. Pierre Bonirote’s «A Greek Fisherman Narrating his Adventures in front of Cape Sounion» was sold at 240,690 euros, a record price for the artist. Yiannis Tsarouchis’s «View of Pasalimani, Piraeus» came in fourth at 223,740 euros, followed by George Bouzianis’s «Asian Princess,» one of the great expressionist artist’s most important and representative works from the 1950s, which went for 169,500 euros. The top 10 was rounded off by Nikos Engonopoulos’s «Hercules,» sold for 162,720 euros – one of the highest prices reached for an Engonopoulos work – followed by Pericles Pantazis’s «L’Hiver sur la plaine» (135,600 euros) and Nikolaos Lytras’s «From Galatsi,» which fetched a record price for the artist of 124,750 euros. Yiannis Moralis’s «Reclining Nude» came in ninth place at 101,700 euros, again a record price for a Moralis work on paper. Alekos Fassianos’s «Summer Birds» was 10th, selling at 94,920 euros.