Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Gamble Pays Off

I mentioned last week the $46 million guarantee Sotheby's gave to David Rockefeller for the sale of his Rothko. The work sold last night for $72.8 million, setting records, according to Carol Vogel in The New York Times, "for both the artist and for any contemporary work at auction."

More on guarantees, and other "tricks of the auction trade," from Lee Rosenbaum in yesterdays' Wall Street Journal. Lots of interesting stuff, including that Sotheby's recently "collected $20 million from its 'key man' life insurance policy for Robert Noortman, the Dutch dealer in old masters who died unexpectedly in January, only seven months after the auction house acquired his gallery -- and its $56.41 million inventory -- in exchange for Sotheby's shares worth about $56.5 million, as well as the assumption of about $26 million in debt."