Friday, March 27, 2009

A Cat Lovers Auction

New York Times:Inside Art
Attention, Millionaires: Rare Cat Needs Home

Just how much of an appetite there is to buy art these days is anyone’s guess. But with the important New York sales less than two months away, experts at Sotheby’s and Christie’s are scrambling to get the kind of property that they perceive the market wants.

It comes as little surprise, then, that after the high prices achieved for sculpture recently — at auctions in London in February and in New York in November — one of the prized works being sold at Sotheby’s in New York this spring is a sculpture of a cat that Alberto Giacometti made in 1951 and cast in an edition of eight.

A rare object for an artist best known for his depictions of the human figure, the bronze cat has a long neck and tail and is posed as if stalking prey.

A Giacometti cat sculpture hasn’t been on the block in more than 30 years. The last one sold for $130,000 at Sotheby’s in New York in 1975. But, curiously, a second cat from the same edition is also rumored to be for sale privately in New York.

Sotheby’s estimates that its cat will fetch $16 million to $22 million at the May 5 sale.

“It’s from a European collector who bought it in the ’60s,” said Simon Shaw, head of Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern art department in New York. “There is something magical about how Giacometti reduces the form down to its essential catness.”

No comments: