February 8th, 2011
03:06 PM GMT
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What recession? There wasn't one at the top end of the art market.

"The price levels of these works of art have not only held, they've risen," Jussi Pylkkanen, President of Christie's Europe told me a week before the auction house put works by some of the famed impressionists under the hammer in London.

Works by Degas, Gaugin and Chagall lined the walls at Christie's as Pylkkanen explained to me that 80% of the works up for auction are being sold these days, showing great confidence that the big Impressionist and modern art sale this week in London by his house (and presumably also for the one at rival Sotheby's Tuesday featuring a painting by Picasso) will show huge demand. "This is one of the strongest sales I have seen here in the 25 years," he said.

That's what the sellers are counting on of course.

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