Czech artists set Sotheby's alight with several World Record prices


Frantisek Kupka may not be a name as familiar as Pablo Picasso or Salvador Dali, but yesterday's fantastic auction of Important Czech Art at Sotheby's was evidence that his work can be just as valuable.

Oil paintings by the abstract Czech artist, including this one called Movement which sold for £1,497,250 ($2,431,534), set new World Record prices for his pieces at auction.

His works sparked bidding wars between saleroom and telephone bidders as they competed for the chance to own his most prominent paintings.


Movement set a new record price for a Kupka work sold at auction

Movement his abstract oil on canvas work, with its intense use of colours and layered style, doubled its original estimate of between £500,000-700,000 ($805,450-1,127,630).

Five of his artworks featured in the top 10 sales of the auction, showing just how popular his pieces have become.

With other canvases, like Le Disque Blanc and Plan Violet, selling for well above their estimates, this is one artist whose stock is obviously rising. Buying one of his works as an investment now could pay dividends in the future.

In all, the sale of The Hascoe Family Collection of Important Czech Art made £11,103,903 ($18,032,738). The auction showed just how strong the arts market is right now, with 75% of the lots selling above their estimate.


Capek's double-sided painting sold well above estimate for $910,561

The pieces on show belonged to Norman and Suzanne Hascoe after years of passionate collecting. They amassed an amazing range of important items, many of which are now highly valuable.

Other artists whose works also ignited the auction included Josef Capek and Emil Filla. Capek's double-sided painting Sailor and Phantomas, with its use of sharp lines and contrasting tones as if depicting a split personality, sold for £565,250 ($910,561) and almost tripled its guide value of £200,000 ($322,180).

Filla's Picasso-esque oil work, Sculptress In The Studio, went even further. It sold for four times higher than its estimate, reaching £623,650 ($1,004,638).

Clearly this is an area of the art market that's worth a serious closer look, as artists like Kupka, Capek and their contemporaries become more popular.

For collectors wanting a long-term return on their money, investing in this 'new' breed of artist might provide a better opportunity than other more established names.



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