Christie’s just completed its first Shanghai auction. It included but one Picasso, a late oil on panel, but this 1969 Homme Assis was a doozie. This musketeer brought in 1,906,245 USD on an estimate of 742,693 to 1,023,266 USD. Although many late Picasso paintings are oversized, about as large as a door, the better ones typically fetch 5 to 10 times this amount. But I’m not one to overweight size relative to quality when determining value. As for the quality of the painting, assuming late Picasso appeals to you, you may find yourself agreeing with me that it is wonderful. I could rhapsodize at length about the style and artistic accomplishments of this hilarious musketeer, but I’ll spare you–for now. Suffice it to say, despite the fact that the art market is on fire, yet another wonderful Picasso has slipped through the cracks. Perhaps the take-home is to keep an eye on uncustomary venues.
I trust the new owners will enjoy the company of their charming new houseguest. Although the auction season has just begun, I’m climbing way out on a limb by awarding the lucky buyers the coveted Steal of the Season award. (That and 3 bucks might buy you a pot of green tea.)