Dollar sign by Andy Warhol makes £44,450
Following a highly regarded exhibition of Gerhard Richter's work at Tate Modern last year, Bonhams sold a 1983 oil on paper by the artist, measuring 34x24cm, for an impressive £133,250 yesterday (29 March) at its Contemporary Two sale. The work far exceeded its pre-sale estimate of £15,000 – 25,000.
A screenprint of a Dollar Sign by the celebrated American pop artist Andy Warhol (1928-1987) also sold well, making £44,450. Initially painted onto a handkerchief and given to friends in 1981, this picture had attracted a pre-sale estimate of £20,000 – 30,000.
One of the most iconic and important post-modernist designs, Proust's Armchair, by Italian designer and architect Alessandro Mendini, matched the world record price of £46,850, which was achieved in the last Contemporary Two sale on October 19.
Top prices were also paid for Banquette chair no 39, 2002 by the brother partnership, Fernando and Humberto Campana (£31,250); Jean Paul Riopelle's Granité (£61,250); Giuseppe Capogrossi's Superficie 404 (£52,850); and for a vase by Lucio Fontana (£37,250).
After the sale, Alan Montgomery, Contemporary Art Specialist at Bonhams, said: "We are delighted in the result for the Richter, and for the sale as a whole. The high prices achieved for our top lots prove that the art market is as buoyant as ever, particularly for pieces of the highest quality."
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and appraisal services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com