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A Van Gogh For $12.16 Million; Record Monet Price; A Chagall For $2.8 Million

June 28, 1988

LONDON (AP) _ A Vincent van Gogh painting of books sold for $12.16 million, a Claude Monet work went for $6.55 million - a record for the artist - and a work by Marc Chagall fetched $2.8 million at London auctions Monday.

The van Gogh painting, which brought vastly more than the $5.1 million expected at Christie’s auctioneers, was ″Romans Parisiens (Les Livres Jaunes),″ - Parisian Novels (The Yellow Books) - painted in 1887.

It is the first picture van Gogh officially exhibited at the fourth Salon des Independents in Paris in 1888 and was inspired by the literary works of Emile Zola, Gustav Flaubert and Guy de Maupassant.

The purchase, by an anonymous private collector bidding by telephone, was made at Christie’s major summer sale of Impressionist pictures. It was sold by a private collection in Switzerland.

Monet’s ″La Maison Bleue″ (The Blue House) brought $6.55 million from a telephone bidder at the same sale. It was owned by Lady Salomon.

The painting is of a house in Zaandam, near Amsterdam, where the artist lived from June-September 1871 to escape the ravages of the Franco-Prussian war.

The auctioneers again had been predicting a price of about $5.1 million.

The prices of both paintings include the buyer’s premium of 10 percent.

In November, van Gogh’s ″Irises,″ sold at Sotheby’s in New York for $53.9 million to an anonymous buyer, the highest price paid at auction for a painting.

The previous record price for a Monet was set at a Christie’s auction in New York in November, when an anonymous buyer paid $3.3 million for ″Nympheas,″ depicting water lilies and painted about 1914.

At a separate auction at Christie’s on Monday, nine Impressionist paintings from the collection of Briton Alan Clore brought a total of $10.39 million.

The paintings, including works by Edouard Manet, Camille Pissarro and Chagall were bought by private buyers, mainly from abroad, bidding by telephone.

The most expensive was Chagall’s ″Paris, La Grande Roue″ (Paris, the Big Wheel). The fairground scene fetched $2.8 million.

Clore, son of the late property tycoon Sir Charles Clore, decided to dispose of some of his assets to pay off debts incurred as a result of last October’s world stock market crash.

His father bought the paintings in the 1960s and left them to his son.

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