The most beautiful and most important piece in all the auctions is amazingly underpriced. Buffon et Jeune Acrobate, a 1905 gouache, is at Sotheby’s Imp/Mod evening sale, lot 63. The most recent comparable sale among the oils and works on paper (WOPs) of 1905 was this one, far smaller and less beautiful:
This tiny (14.4 cm), faint, unsigned watercolor just brought down 434,500 GBP (710,083 USD) at Sotheby’s London earlier this year. Yet the Sotheby’s estimate is only $2.5-3.5M for the present 58 cm gouache.
The priciest sale of this gorgeous series of Saltimbanques on paper went for over $38M way back in around 1986, setting a record for a WOP that has not yet been broken:
OK, I’d rather have this record sale, despite my love of The Fat Man, but the fat man and the young acrobat at Sotheby’s is stupendous and a giveaway at this estimate.
Skipping several periods ahead, here’s a WOW surrealist drawing, the most amusing I’ve seen at auction in the series:
My third and final pick is the nicest late Picasso on cardboard I’ve ever seen, at Sotheby’s evening sale (and, in my opinion, one of the nicest late Picasso paintings of all in any medium), a large painting (97 cm) at a very reasonable estimate of $4-6M:
Good luck at the races, people!