Sales Take a Dive at Sotheby’s Post-Brexit London Auction

LONDON — In the primary severe check of the highest finish of the public sale market since Brexit, Sotheby’s relied closely on three works that had been looted by the Nazis and restored to the homeowners’ heirs in an underpowered sale Tuesday of Impressionist, trendy and Surrealist artwork that raised 49.9 million kilos, or $64.9 million.

That whole was 43 % decrease than the £87.7 million at the sale final February.

All three of the works had lately been returned to the heirs of the French property developer and artwork collector Gaston Lévy.

The portray that led the sale, with a worth of £13.three million, was Camille Pissarro’s 1888 Pointillist-style masterwork, “Gelée Blanche, Jeune Paysanne Faisant du Feu” displaying two figures in a subject on a sunlit winter morning. It had been on show at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris from 2000 to 2018 after having been seized by the French authorities from a non-public assortment in 1988. The portray had been looted from Mr. Levy in 1940, throughout the Nazi occupation of France, based on the catalog.

The status of the Pissarro identify and the portray’s former presence at the museum inspired 5 phone bidders to push the worth for the canvas past its £12 million higher estimate.

The different two high-profile items have been the work of Paul Signac, a Neo-Impressionist artist, who had been a private pal of Mr. Lévy.

Mr. Simmons explained that the shadowy pasts of these looted paintings enhance the security of their provenance once they have been restored to the owners’ heirs. “It brings fresh material to the market,” he said. “Once it’s been restituted, you can be confident there isn’t going to be a claim on it. These pictures tell a story, and there’s redemption at the end.”

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