Huge art sale sign of market rebound

Stephen Beard Feb 4, 2010
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Huge art sale sign of market rebound

Stephen Beard Feb 4, 2010
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Bill Radke: What might be bouncing back is the art market. Last night at Sotheby’s auction house in London, a sculpture by Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti sold for a world record price. Marketplace’s Stephen Beard reports.


Stephen Beard: The sculpture, called Walking Man 1, sold for more than $104 million. The figure caused gasps of surprise in the auction room. Sotheby’s had expected the six-foot bronze to fetch around $28 million at most.

Ten bidders from all over the world battled it out. An anonymous telephone buyer won the day. Sotheby’s are refusing to reveal the identity.

David Norman, a senior executive at the firm, says the sale is a clear sign the art market has recovered:

David Norman: It’s a very strong indicator because not only did the Giacommetti do so well, the sale itself was the highest totalling sale for an auction in London of any category.

The Giacommetti was on sale because of the financial crisis. Walking Man 1 had been owned by the failed Dresdner Bank. The bank’s new owners sold the sculpture to raise funds.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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