Giacometti sculpture for sale in a secretive auction with a minimum bid of $90 million

A work by Alberto Giacometti, the artist behind some of history’s most expensive sculptures, is going up for sale — but bids will be made entirely in secret.

a close up of a person: Sotheby's is requiring minimum bids of at least $90 million for "Grande femme I," but the final sale price will remain a secret.

© Courtesy of Sotheby’s
Sotheby’s is requiring minimum bids of at least $90 million for “Grande femme I,” but the final sale price will remain a secret.

Until October 27, auction house Sotheby’s will be accepting confidential offers for “Grande femme I,” a 9-foot-tall bronze of a spindly woman. And with a starting price of $90 million, the so-called “sealed-bid” sale could fetch one of the largest sums ever paid for a sculpture.

The Swiss artist cast the bronze artwork in 1960, six years before his death. It was part of a larger series of sculptures meant to form a major public installation in New York City, though the outdoor display was never realized. “Grande femme I” embodies Giacometti’s late-career style,

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Sotheby’s to Offer Giacometti Sculpture for $90M in Sealed-Bid Sale

Alberto Giacometti, Grande femme I, 1960.

Courtesy of Sotheby’s

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Sotheby’s is offering Alberto Giacometti’s monumental sculpture, Grande femme I, with a starting bid of US$90 million in an unusual sealed-bid private sale just ahead of its marquee evening sales next week. 

Confidential bidding on the approximately nine-foot-tall sculpture, cast during Giacometti’s lifetime in 1960 and one of four huge female figures he created for a never-realized outdoor sculpture installation at Chase Manhattan Plaza in New York, will begin at noon ET on Wednesday, and will continue through noon on Tuesday, Oct. 27. 

“It’s hard to exaggerate the impact and the grandeur, and also the hauntingness of seeing one of these standing figures in the round, or encountering it—it towers over you, it’s incredibly evocative,” says Brooke Lampley, vice chairman at Sotheby’s.

“There’s a contrast between the incredibly nuanced handling, in a real sense, of Giacometti’s modeling and

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