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Sotheby's Reports First Quarter 2013 Financial Results

Stocks in this article: BID

"We have historically adapted to a changing world. We are still an auction house, but today we are also much more. We have built on our 270 years of success to become an innovative and global art business. And with very good reason – new markets now account for 40% of worldwide buying activity in our sales rooms," said Ruprecht. "This week's Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art is a great example. We saw bidders from 45 countries participating – including the largest number from Latin America and Asia we have ever witnessed for an Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art at Sotheby's. We are truly bringing a world of art to a new world."

Second Quarter Sales

This week in New York, exceptional works from prominent estate collections drove Impressionist & Modern Art sales to a strong total of $288 million, near the pre-sale high estimate of $296 million. Both the sales total and the sell-through rate of 84.5% in the evening sale rank among Sotheby's highest in this category in recent years. The top lots of the sales were from the collection of Alex & Elisabeth Lewyt – Paul Cézanne's Les Pommes which sold for $41.6 million and Amedeo Modigliani's L'Amazone which sold for $25.9 million.

Last month in Hong Kong, an excellent group of sales brought a total of $280 million, at the high end of the pre-sale estimate. Over 3,100 lots were sold to buyers primarily from Asia but with worldwide competition. Solid prices were achieved throughout the week, with the Fine Chinese Paintings auction more than doubling the pre-sale estimate, the Watches sale bringing the highest total ever for a sale of timepieces in Asia and for Sotheby's worldwide, and the Magnificent Jewels sale earning a per-carat auction record for a round white diamond with the sale of a stunning 28.86-carat Round D Flawless Diamond for $6.9 million, or $239,000 per carat.

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