Little Dancer's Big Price

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

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A bronze sculpture of a young dancer proved that the art market isn't quite dead yet. British millionaire Sir John Madejski put his Degas dancer up for sale at Sotheby's Impressionist art auction on February 3. The bronze sculpture, Petite danseuse de quatorze ans, is one of only a few remaining in private hands and was estimated at £9 - 12 million. Instead it brought in £13.3 million pounds ($19.2 million) over £8 million more than he paid for it back in 2004.The three-foot-high sculpture of a dancer was one of an edition of 28 bronze casts made in 1922 after the artist's death in 1917. The buyer was an anonymous Asian collector. The sculpture was the top lot in Sotheby's London sale of Impressionist and modern art where 76 percent of the 29 lots found buyers. The sale brought in £32.6 million versus a low estimate of £40.6 million. Compare that with last year, where the February mpressionist and modern art sale at Sotheby's brought in £117 million.

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