Christie’s sale of the Peggy and David Rockefeller collection, which offered a top-notch selection of art from North and South America, marked the highest total ever achieved for an American art auction. The collection boasted eclectic variety of objects, from paintings to porcelain to duck decoys to blue-chip art.
“In what was billed as the ‘sale of the century,’ the art collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, comprising 1,500 pieces, sold at auction for a record-breaking US$832.5 million (S$1.1 billion),” stated Christie's. The auction house further said that it is the most significant charity auction ever staged as “The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller” sold 100 per cent.
The auction was led by 10 days of online sales and three days of dynamic live auctions at Christie’s Rockefeller Center HQ for the 1,500 objects. The sale of these objects reached $832,573,469/ £613,941,113, smashing all the records for a private collection at auction. The figure broke the previous record held by the collection of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge, which sold for US$484 million in 2009.
Picasso’s “Fillette a la corbeille fleurie” became the top seller with $115,000,000 followed by Monet’s “Nympheas en fleur,” which sold for a record $84,687,500, and Matisse’s “Odalisque couchee aux magnolias,” which was bought for $80,750,000, setting yet another artist auction record.
Diego Rivera’s “The Rivals” established a record for a work of Latin American Art for $9,762,500.
The Sevres porcelain “Marly Rouge” service commissioned by Napoleon I broke the world auction record for 19th-century porcelain, selling for $1,812,500.
On the Fine Art Day Sale Henry Moore’s “Oval Sculpture,” stole the show by selling for $3,972,500 against a high estimate of $500,000.
“Throughout the live auctions, 22 world records were made across Impressionist & Modern Art, American painting, Latin American art, contemporary sculpture, decorative art, Islamic painting, Chinese Works of Art, and American Decorative art,” the auction house said.
“All of the Estate’s proceeds from the most significant charitable auction in history will be directed to a dozen philanthropies Peggy and David Rockefeller supported during their lifetimes, for the benefit of continuing scientific research, higher education, support for the arts, sustainable economic development, and land conservation initiatives, among others,” the auction house said.
David Rockefeller, the last surviving grandson of the oil baron John D. Rockefeller died in 2017 while his wife Peggy Rockefeller died in 1996.