Lê Phổ (Vietnamese/French, 1907-2001), oil-on-canvas painting, 27.25 x 32in (framed). Sold for $52,000. Courtesy Palm Beach Modern Auctions.
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA.- On May 25, the amiable team at Palm Beach Modern Auctions greeted “regulars” and new bidders alike to a 532-lot sale of high-quality art, designer furniture and outdoor sculptures from fine private collections. For many in attendance, the drawcard was the long list of desirable artists represented in the sale, but others, especially from the South Florida region, came specifically to acquire chic yet functional mid-century furnishings for their oceanfront homes.
“Even if people just came to learn more about what we sell, we were delighted to be their hosts for the day,” said auctioneer and co-owner Rico Baca. “Very often, those who are new to a particular type of art go on to become passionate collectors and valued, long-term customers.”
Rising to the top of prices realized, an oil-on-canvas painting of a mother and child in a garden setting by Lê Phổ (Vietnamese/French, 1907-2001) sold for $52,000 against an estimate of $20,000-$40,000. The winning bidder was a collector from China. “Lê Phổ is in demand worldwide. Prices for his artworks are going up, and we knew this painting would do well because of all the enquiries we fielded prior to auction day,” Baca said.
“Our auction gallery was full for hours during this sale, which was amazing since it’s late in the spring season,” Rico Baca remarked. “In addition, our Internet and phone lines were busy from start to finish, with callers from as far away as Asia. It may sound simplistic, but art by quality artists will always draw a crowd. »