Christie’s and Sotheby’s set for record sales

RIVALS Christie’s and Sotheby’s are expecting to hold their biggest ever London sales later this month, reflecting growing confidence in the art market boom.

Christie’s announced yesterday it was offering a 1906 Monet water-lily painting worth an estimated £30m to 40m –?the same price as a Blue Period portrait by Pablo Picasso.

The pair, plus 61 other works on offer, are expected to take the tally on 23 June to £164-231m which, if realised, would be well above the London record of £147m set at Sotheby’s in February.

Sotheby’s said it expected to sell art worth £101-148m at its equivalent sale on 22 June, its highest pre-sale estimate in London.

Its auction centrepiece is a painting by Edouard Manet valued at £20-30m, one of just two self-portraits by the artist.