Lyonel Feininger's Sails painting achieves 299% increase at Sotheby's

Sails, a painting by Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956), has sold for $3.1m against an estimate of $800,000 - an increase of 298.6%.

The lot proved the highlight of Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale in New York on May 8.

Lyonel Feininger Sails Sotheby's
Lyonel Feininger's Sails was executed in 1954

Feininger was a leading exponent of expressionism in Germany in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and was the first appointment to the faculty of the Bauhaus school, in 1919.  

As was the case with many of the most forward thinking German artists of the period, his work was exhibited in the Nazi's "degenerate" art exhibition in 1936.

He fled to America later that year, taking up a post at Mills College in Oakland, California.

Earlier this year, an unauthenticated painting (purportedly by Feininger) was offered at J Levine Auction & Appraisal in Phoenix, Arizona where it failed to sell, highlighting the fundamental importance of provenance in the collectibles industry.  

The present sale featured works from artists as diverse as Braque, Miro and Renoir. A brooch from Salvador Dali proved one of the highest selling lots, achieving $1m against a valuation of $350,000 (up 185.7%).

Eye Time Dali
The Eye of Time was designed by Dali and made by Alemany & Ertman of New York

Titled The Eye of Time, it displays an array of precious stones (including diamonds and rubies) set around a watch face. It was designed by the artist in 1949 and made by Alemany & Ertman of New York in 1951.

In August last year a similar example sold for £96,000 ($145,450), indicating a significant increase in value.

Sotheby's held its Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale on May 7. Picasso's Le Sauvetage was the headline lot, achieving $31.5m.

We have this signed postcard from Picasso available - a wonderful collectible from the great man.

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