Following a successful auction week for Old Masters & Antiques in late June, Koller
's auction series for Modern, Contemporary & Swiss Art, Jewellery & Watches continued to register strong prices and very active bidding.
Swiss Art, 3 July
The top lot in the Swiss Art auction was Cuno Amiet's "Mother and child" (lot 3322), and important work from 1899 which was considered missing for almost 90 years until it was recently rediscovered in a private collection. It left its presale estimate of CHF 380 000/480 000 far behind, selling for CHF 830 000. A charming depiction of a young girl with Christmas presents by Albert Anker (lot 3309) which also had never been offered on the auction market, sold for CHF 464 000. Prices remain strong for works by Gottardo Segantini, as witnessed by two paintings sold in the 3 July auction, an autumn landscape near Maloja (lot 3352, CHF 159 000), and a view of an alpine lake (lot 3348, CHF 116 000). Other highlights in the Swiss Art auction include a head study by Ferdinand Hodler for "View to infinity", 1914/15, which sold for above the upper estimate at CHF 208 000, and a finger painting by Louis Soutter, "Hôtes de roulette", which changed hands for CHF 171 000 (lot 3341).
Impressionist & Modern Art, 3 July
The Impressionist & Modern Art auction was led by a 1960 composition by Joan Miró, "Solitude III/III" (lot 3527), which changed hands for CHF 390 000, and a view of Pierre-Auguste Renoir's garden in the south of France, circa 1910 (lot 3506), which sold well above its upper estimate at CHF 360 000. A depiction of fishermens' wives by Max Pechstein, circa 1920, also sold for above its upper estimate at CHF 342 000 (lot 3523). Giorgio de Chirico's "Piazza d'Italia", 1945-49 (lot 3553) more than doubled its pre-sale estimate at CHF 220 000. Two works made record prices in the sale: an early Symbolist painting by Melchior Lechter, "Blue flower of solitude", 1892-93 (lot 3501), pulverised the artist's previous sale records at CHF 128 000, and a winter landscape by Swedish artist Gustaf Fjaestad (lot 3502) sold for a record CHF 98 000.
Post-War & Contemporary, Prints & Multiples, 4 July
Bidding was active for PostWar & Contemporary works, including all of the Warhols offered, led by a portrait of socialite Lola Jacobsen, 1985 (lot 3752, CHF 208 000), and a unique trial proof screenprint of Dracula from the "Myths" series (lot 3865), which set an auction record at CHF 116 000. A watercolour by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, "The yellow square - airfield", 1958, sold for above its upper estimate at CHF 195 000 (lot 3724). Works by Mark Tobey continue to be highly sought-after, such as an untitled tempera on wove paper from 1960 which garnered CHF 132 000 against an estimate of CHF 60 000/80 000 (lot 3710). Max Bill's gilt brass sculpture "Double surface as hexagon" from 1968 nearly doubled its low estimate at CHF 58 000 (lot 3702).
Watches, 2 July
Koller's Watches auction realised an impressive 140% sold by value (not including buyer's premium), with 124 of the 131 lots finding buyers. Competitive bidding often drove prices far above the estimates, such as for the top lot, a rare "Chronomètre à resonance" by exclusive Geneva watchmaker F.P. Journe (lot 2861), which sold for CHF 232 000. Another very rare piece was the Patek Philippe "Beyer Jubilee Chronograph", 2010 (lot 2907), which was made in an edition of only 50 pieces for the 250th anniversary of Beyer Chronometrie on Zurich's Bahnhofstrasse, one of the oldest watch shops in the world. It more than doubled its low estimate at CHF 67 000.