Early Egon Schiele self-portrait fetches $10M

Self Portrait with Spread Fingers by Egon Schiele
Self Portrait with Spread Fingers by Egon Schiele

An early self-portrait by Austrian expressionist Egon Schiele has sold at Christie’s in London for 7.3 million pounds (roughly $10.5 million).

The dark and fragmented self-portrait by the then 19-year-old Schiele features just his head and spindly hands extending out of blackness. His head is set in front of a golden square. It was estimated to for between 6 million and 8 million pounds. Its consignor bought the work for 4.5 million pounds in 2007, according to Bloomberg.

The collection of artwork up for auction on Tuesday evening raised 66.4 million pounds, within the estimated presale range. However, the auction produced 17 percent less than the company’s similar auction a year ago.

“This season, people are watching the market to see where we are headed,” Fotini Xydas, an adviser in Impressionist and modern art at Citi Private Bank Art Advisory and Finance, who attended the sale, told Bloomberg. “There weren’t many blockbusters. The estimates were intentionally reasonable. As a result, there was healthy bidding that seemed real and international.”