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Auctions of a Superlative Order: 2010 Sees Best Mid-Year Results Dorotheum’s History - Historic record sales for Old Masters, 19th-Century Painting, Modern Art, Silver, and Design


Frans Francken II (1581 - 1642) Man between
Virtue and Vice, realized price € 7,02 million

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, il Guercino (1591 -
1666), Rinaldo and Armida,
realized price € 1.042.300

Giorgio Morandi (1890 - 1964), Paesaggio, 1935,
realized price € 398.300

Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876 - 1907), Girl with
Straw Hat and Child on her lap,
realized price € 375.300

Giorgio de Chirico (1888 - 1970), Venezia,
realized price € 329.300

Giuseppe Bernardino Bison (1772 - 1844),
A view of St. Mark's Basilica,
realized price € 329.300

Vienna - Auctions of a superlative order at Dorotheum, the largest auction house in Continental Europe: Old Masters and 19th-Century Painting in April 2010, as well as Modern Art, Design, and Silver in May 2010, yielded historic record results. All in all, the first half of 2010 has turned out to be the best in the auctioneer’s history.

It was above all the painting Man Choosing between Virtue and Vice by Frans Francken II, sold in April for 7.02 million euros and thus the most high-priced Old Master painting worldwide auctioned to date in 2010, that shifted into the focus of international attention. Francken’s composition is also the most expensive Old Master painting ever knocked down in the German-speaking area and Continental Europe and moreover marks a world record for this artist.

Besides the Francken painting, the Old Masters sale scored another million bid, which was made for Guercino’s dramatic scene after Tasso, Rinaldo Restraining Armida from Killing Herself with an Arrow (€ 1,042,300). Modern Art likewise saw a number of peak results, such as for the international stars Giorgio Morandi, Paula Modersohn-Becker, and Giorgio de Chirico. Works by Günther Uecker, Anselm Kiefer, and Agostino Bonalumi stood out in Contemporary Art. 19th-Century Painting, for which there has recently developed a growing trend, excelled with a sensational 283,300 euros for a small seascape by Konstantin Aivazovsky. The top auction results also include the highlights from the Silver and Design sales: four candelabra once owned by Catherine the Great and a desk by Diego Giacometti reached more than 200,000 euros each.

Dorotheum CEO Martin Böhm points out the reasons for this success: "During the past years we have invested intensively in Dorotheum’s internationalization and enormously expanded our clientele on a global scale. We are thus in a position to present an attractive offering in terms of international works of art."

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