Colin Gleadell has done a little arithmetic on last week’s sales. He counts a total for the week of $1.6bn which was $500 million more than the year before but $1.14bn less than the high water mark set in 2015.

Gleadell breaks it downfurther into Impressionist and Modern art at $537.6m and Contemporary out-shining with $1.064bn.

As is his wont, Gleadell also has some big scores to report:

  • an early abstract wood sculpture by Alexander Archipenko that had slipped through an auction in Maryland two years earlier for $425. Thanks to Christie’s authentication and London dealer Offer Waterman’s bidding, the buyer now saw that price rise to a lottery-scale win of $564,500.
  • the late Blinky Palermo whose tall minimal abstract painting, Rot/Gelb, bought by Zwirner & Wirth in 1998 for $167,500, sold for a record $4.5 million dollars (a return rate of 71.5 per cent p.a).