Greek Financier Wins Picasso’s Lover in Art Auction Stoush – artmarketblog.com
Greek financier Dimitri Mavrommatis added to his already impressive art buying history on the 21st of June when he purchased Picaso’s Femme assise, robe bleue at Christie’s London Impressionist and Modern Art sale for £17,961,250 against an estimate of 4,000,000 – 8,000,000. Bidding like a man yet to be informed of the Greek economic crisis, Mavrommatis held off several other determined bidders to come out the victor taking Picasso’s mistress as his spoils of war. Not the first time that he has made a move on one of Picasso’s women, Mavrommatis purchase a painting of Picasso’s wife Jaqueline from Christie’s New York in May last year (2010). Again paying well over the expected price, Mavrommatis took home Picasso’s Femme au chat assise dans un fauteuil for $18 million against an estimate of $10-15 million. Considering that Macrommatis is a member of rival auction house Sotheby’s advisory board, he has sure spent a lot of money at Christie’s. Again feeding what appears to be a penchant for anatomically askew females, Mavrommatis plonked down 11.8 million pounds at Sotheby’s in June of 2010 for Matisse’s 1928 Moroccan interior Odalisques jouant aux dames which had an estimate of 10-15 million pounds.
Having amassed a great collection of old master and modern paintings from the early 1990′s onwards, many of which were purchased from London dealer Richard Green, Mavrommatis sold 17 paintings from his collection in 2007 through Sotheby’s who sold them for just over 8 million pounds against an expected total of only 3 million pounds. Again employing the services of Sotheby’s to sell items from his collection of important french furniture and Sèvres porcelain that was housed in his Chester Square, London house – the sale of which prompted the clear out – Mavrommatis once again profited substantially from the sale. According to Sotheby’s :
“Furniture and Works of Art from the Collection of Dimitri Mavrommatis on July 8 (2008) in London attracted strong competition from the all corners of the globe, realizing the extraordinary sum of £10,410,600 ($20,535,950) against a pre-sale estimate of £5.5/ 8.7 million. No fewer than 80 of the 85 lots offered found buyers, with the majority of lots sold achieving prices well in excess of the pre-sale high estimate. The top lot in the sale was an Important and Rare Large Gilt-Bronze-Mounted Chinese Black and Gold Porcelain Pot-Pourri Vase and Cover (the Gilt-Bronze Louis XV, circa 1745, the Porcelain Qianlong, 1736-1795), which sold for £2,169,250 ($4,279,063) – far exceeding its pre-sale estimate (“in excess of £1 million”), and establishing a new auction record for a piece of mounted porcelain.”
Studying the habits of connoisseur collectors such as Mavrommatis is a great way of learning how to develop a collection. Mavrommatis is a man who obviously knows what he wants and makes sure that he gets it as long as the spoils are top quality works by famous artists. By focusing on the very best examples of the artists and artisans that he is interested in, Mavrommatis has been able to profit significantly from his collecting efforts over the last few decades.
1. Femme assise, robe bleue by Picasso
2. Femme au chat assise dans un fauteuil by Picasso
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.
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