"Femmes lisant (deux personnages)" sold for $21.36 million including commission, but had been expected to fetch as much as $35 million. Estimates do not include commission, which is more than 12 percent of the hammer price.
Several other works, including Paul Delvaux’s "Les Cariatides" which soared to $9 million, nearly twice its high estimate and a record for the artist, drew strong prices as bidders competed in the salesroom and via telephone.
The sale totaled $170.5 million, against a pre-sale estimate of $159 million to $230 million. Of the 59 works on offer 15, or 25 percent went unsold.