Download the HENI News app

Apple IconIOS
ArtChevron Down Icon
Discord Icon
Shoutout Icon










Leon de Smet Leads Sotheby's $4.32m Sale in Paris

3 min read  · 24 Oct 2023

Lezende vrouw (Femme lisant) by Leon de Smet sold for $229,500. Image courtesy of Sotheby’s

A work by Leon de Smet was the headline sale at Sotheby's, Online Art Impressionniste et Moderne Day Auction on October 23.

  • The sale totaled: $4.32m, exceeding the pre-sale high estimate.

  • Pre-sale estimates ranged from $2.29m to $3.26m.

All results include the fees and premiums added to the price of a work of art when the auctioneer's hammer falls. Sale prices are compared to the auction house’s low estimate, which do not include premiums. See below for an explanation of the jargon.

Snapshot of the sale

  • 115 works sold totaled: $4.32m.

  • Estimates totaled: $2.29m (low) and $3.26m (high), excluding premiums.

  • The sell-through rate was 86% of the original 133 lots.

The star lot by value was: Leon de Smet,Lezende vrouw (Femme lisant) (1913), which sold for $229,500, 150% above the $84,000 low estimate . It has been traded once in the past.

The outperformer sold for 600% above its low estimate. Suzanne Valadon, Vase de fleurs devant une draperie (1919) sold for $81,000, estimated at $10,000 (low). It has been traded 3 times in the past.

Breakdown of results against auction house estimates that are disclosed

  • 88 works, or 77%, of works sold above their high estimate.

  • 15 works, or 13%, sold within their estimate.

  • 12 works, or 10%, sold below their low estimate.

Guaranteed sales

  • No works had a guarantee.

Works that did not sell

  • 16 works were bought-in.

Bought-in works included: Joan Miro, Untitled (1926) estimated at $52,900 (low) to $74,000 (high). It has been traded 4 times in the past.

Withdrawn before the sale

  • 1 work was withdrawn before the sale:

Henri Evenepoel, Au Bois de Boulogne (Undated) estimated at $5,288 (low) to $7,403 (high).

Auction jargon

Guarantees: Sometimes an auction house guarantees to pay a seller for a work, regardless of whether the bidding reaches the reserve price, a figure that is typically confidential.

Bought-in: If there are no bids for a work, or if bidding falls short of the reserve price, the lot is unsold or “bought-in”.

Withdrawn: This happens when a seller decides, for whatever reason, to withdraw a work before the bidding begins.

Premiums: Typically a sliding-scale of charges paid in addition to the hammer price by the buyer, plus any other fees.


Leon de Smet