LAMA BLOG

Palevsky Estate Propels LAMA to Record Sales

March 7, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA– Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) recorded its highest grossing auction to date on Sunday, March 6, 2011, with total sales reaching $2,256,323 and a sell through rate of 82%.

Custom designs by Ettore Sottass for the late Max Palevsky were sold on Sunday at the LAMA Modern Art & Design auction in Van Nuys, CA, totaling $333,813. Record prices were achieved for several unique works designed by Ettore Sottsass, including a marble console (Lot 55 est. $10,000 – 15,000), which realized $75,000; a sevres porcelain vase (Lot 70 est. $1,000 – 1,500) brought $31,250; and a pair of marble end tables (Lot 84 and 85 est. $2,400 – 3,000) together realized $25,000.

Sottsass designs from other owners included a group of three candlesticks (Lot 78 est. $1,500 – 2,000) realized $14,375, a pair of “Eastside” lounge chairs (Lot 83 est. $2,500- 3,500) realized $3,750, and a Sinus lamp with box (Lot 76 est. $1,000 – 1,500) brought $3,600.

The star lot of the sale was a sculpture by Reg Butler (Lot 92 est. $20,000 – 30,000), which soared to $125,000 after an intense bidding battle.  The price sets a new world auction record for the artist.  This important British sculpture turned up unexpectedly in a local collection this year, after remaining in private hands since 1963.

Fine art from the Collection of James Byrnes, the first curator of Modern Art at LACMA dating back to the mid 1940s, found very strong competition with 50 lots bringing $171,313.  Highlights included a rare Harry Bertoia brooch (Lot 220 est. $5,000 – 7,000) brought almost $22,000; an original Calder work on paper (Lot 25 est. $15,000 – 20,000) realized $25,000; and an Ynez Johnston (Lot 332 est. $2,000 – 3,000) realized $10,938. All of the works from this collection received heavy pre-sale attention due to Byrnes’ relationship with each of the artists. Nearly all of the works were acquired directly from the artists, which created desirable provenance.

Fresh material from local estates with attractive estimates led to record attendance in the room, as well as on the phones and Internet.

Peter Loughrey, Director:
“Once again, our results prove that you do not have to send Modern Art to New York or London to get the top price.”
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