According to Bloomburg, Christie’s International posted its lowest sales total in two years for Impressionist and modern art in New York as buyers shunned works by Degas and Picasso amid tumbling financial markets. Pre-sale estimates were said to be too aggressive.

“The quality could not be any worse and the estimates could not be any higher,” said Alberto Mugrabi, a New York- based art dealer and collector. “This is what happens when you have the combination of these things.”The biggest casualty was Edgar Degas’ bronze sculpture of a teenage ballerina, “Petite danseuse de quatorze ans,” estimated to bring as much as $35 million. A 1935 portrait of Pablo Picasso’s lover Marie-Therese Walter, estimated to fetch $12 million to $18 million, drew no bids.

“An Henri Matisse painting of a woman in a purple robe from the estate of Hollywood talent agent Lew Wasserman and his wife Eddie also failed to sell. Its presale estimate was $4 million to $6 million. Another flop was Giacometti’s knobby sculpture of a standing woman, “Femme de Venise VII,” which was expected to reach $10 million to $15 million.”

The sale was expected to bring in between $212 million and $304 million, but brought in just $140.8 million. It was the lowest sales total in two years, according to Businessweek

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Marie Therese, 1935, Picasso

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