Picasso portrait sells for €3.4m at Van Ham, a house record

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A portrait by Pablo Picasso of his second wife Jacqueline Roque sold for a hammer price of €3.4m at Van Ham in Cologne, more than twice the low estimate and a record for the auction house.

The Swiss collector who won the bidding, paid €4.35m including commission, the highest price reached at a German auction so far this year. The 1971 oil consigned by a private German collection, Buste de femme, was estimated to reap between €1.5m and €2.5m. Fifteen international bidders took part in the sale by telephone, according to the auction house.

In a statement, Van Ham said its evening sale on 5 June was the most successful in its history, with total revenue of €13.9m. Other big-ticket sales included Günther Uecker’s 1990 White Cry, which fetched €501,000; a 1967 abstract composition by Serge Poliakoff, which sold for €698,500, Hans Hartung’s 1947 painting T1947-27, which once belonged to Peggy Guggenheim and sold for €698,000, and Max Pechstein’s 1920 oil painting Conversation, which went for €737,000.

The record for a work sold at a German auction is held by a 1944 Max Beckmann self-portrait that sold for a hammer price of €20m at Villa Grisebach in Berlin in December last year.

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