A Paul Gauguin painting displayed for the first time in 15 years failed to sell at Christie’s London auction on Wednesday.
Nature Morte A L’Esperance had been expected to fetch up to £10 million ($16 million) at the Christie’s sale but no buyer could be found. The piece was painted by the French artist in Tahiti in 1901.
A day earlier, Sotheby’s fared better when it came to its star lot – Pablo Picasso’s iconic 1932 painting of Marie-Thérèse Walter, La Lecture – which fetched $40.7 million (£25 million), eclipsing its $32 million high estimate.
Other impressive records were also shattered during the week’s sales, including works by Salvador Dalí, Pierre Bonard and René Magritte.
Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art sale raised a total of £61.8 million, while Sotheby’s total reached £68.8 million. The week’s total sales in the category from both auction houses, including day auctions, amounted to £159.4 million ($255.8 million).
Out of the 46 lots offered at Christie’s, 35 sold, with 14 selling above their pre-sale high estimates, and 4 lots selling below their predicted prices.