In 1968, David Rockefeller became an unusual syndicate formed by a small group of low-profile collectors with close ties to the Museum of Modern Art, who set up a $ 6.8 million arrangement with the heirs of Gertrude Stein to buy a group of works of art she had owned.
The banker, philanthropist and statesman was the perfect candidate for the syndicate, especially as his mother, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, was one of the museum's founders. Next to David was his brother Nelson R. Rockefeller in the elite group, along with CBS boss William S. Paley, publisher John Hay Whitney and Andre Meyer. David recorded a second time since William A. Burden, one of the original members of the Syndicate, retired.
Members met one Sunday in December 1968 in an old Whitney wing of the museum and pulled straws from a crumpled felt hat for their election, according to a published report by David Rockefeller. David was lucky, drew the longest straw, and chose Picasso's stunning 1905 Rose Period flower dealer for what was then less than $ 1 million dollars.
Earlier tonight, as part of the first sales phase of Peggy's and David Rockefeller's estate at Christie's, this painting, dating from 1905 and a good fifty-one large, to an anonymous telephone bidder for $ 115.1 million sold against a pre-release estimate in the region of $ 100 million, making it the second most expensive Picasso to sell at the auction, behind Les femmes d & # 39; Alger (version & # 39; O & # 39;) from 1955, auctioned at Christie's for $ 179.3 million in May 2015.
In Christie's showroom in the flow for sale. The director of the Museum of Modern Art, Glenn Lowry, was in this room, an unusual sight at an auction, and could be entertained with the mega-dealer Larry Gagosian. Participants hoping for fireworks might have been disappointed by the steady pace of the proceedings, but what the sale of drama lacked compensated them in an overwhelming amount: the 44 lots of the 19th- and 20th-  Century art sold – a rare "white glove" sale, in the industry parlance – and came together staggering $ 646.1 million.
This result easily set pre-sales expectations to more than $ 490 million (a number of the top entries were "estimate on demand" lots without the usual low to high estimates) and shattered the long-standing record for a single-session, single Owner sale, in Paris in February 2009, when Impressionism and modern art set by the Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé The collection raised 206.1 million euros, or 266.7 million dollars. (The highest sum for a single auction session, however, still stands at $ 852.8 million, which Christie's New York offered in November 2014 after the war and the sale of contemporary art.)
At the Saint Laurent sale, artfully staged in the Grand Palais, a Henri Matisse painting, Les coucous, tapis bleu et rose of 1911, made top lot and a record of € 35.9 million (overvalued from € 12 million to € 18 million), then converted to $ 46.4 million. Tonight, another Matisse Odalisque couchée aux magnolias of 1923 surpassed this record and raised $ 80.75 million (estimate on request of $ 70 million.)
All prices quoted include the hammer price plus the buyer's premium for each lot sold, calculated at 25 percent of the hammer price up to and including $ 250,000; 20 percent of the portion of the hammer price that exceeds $ 250,000, up to and including $ 4 million; and 12.5 percent for something beyond that.
All Rockefeller property was secured by a financial guarantee provided by Christie's and a pell-mell assortment of 13 third-party supporters, announced by lot number just before the start of the evening's business. Remarkably, all proceeds from the sale, as well as later this week and lots sold online, will go to Rockefeller-backed philanthropies, including the American Farmland Trust and Harvard University.
Ten of the 44 lots offered were sold for over $ 15 million and of these, $ 30 million was exceeded. And seven artist records were set, led by Claude Monet's "Nymphéas" painting, which raised $ 84.6 million (estimated at $ 70 million upon request).
The evening began with a fruitful beginning, when Pablo Picasso's exquisite and Cézanne-esque gouache and watercolor on paper Pomme (1914), originally owned by Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas and the couple of Gifted as a Christmas present, Picasso made $ 3.8 million and hovered behind his $ 1 million – $ 1.5 million estimate. Like many of the top entries in the sale, it was acquired as part of the syndicate.
Next came Juan Cuba's stylized still life La table de musicien of 1914, executed in gouache, colored crayons, charcoal and paper collage on canvas. It earned $ 31.8 million (unpublished estimate of $ 20 million). The Rockefellers acquired the painting from Parke-Bernet Galleries, a precursor to Sotheby's in the United States, in March 1966 for $ 45,000.
After the Gris was a 19th – ] century wildlife entry, Eugène Delacroix is magnificent and playful of 1862, the record-breaking $ 9.9 million (estimated at 5 to 7 $)
The price points are aimed at Paul Gauguin's rather radical bird's eye view  La Vague from 1888 with a Hokusai-influenced wave, huge rocks and two tiny figures in the Breton surf, which brought in $ 35.2 million (estimate on request in the order of $ 18 million )), Sold to New York private trader Nancy Whyte. It last appeared in the Metropolitan Museum in 2002, with the title "The lure of Exoticism Gauguin in New York collections."
A second Gauguin, traditional, ravishingly colorful, Fleurs dans un vase from 1886-87 and again worked 1893-95, went to an anonymous telephone bidder for $ 19.4 million (estimate: $ $ 5 million to $ 7 million). Most recently it was auctioned at Christie's New York in May 2006 for $ 4.5 million.
Interiors and still lifes dominate the Rockefeller Cache, and this in an outstanding manner, as Pierre Bonnard's generous and light-flooded Intérieur (19459006) of 1914, which raised $ 6.61 million (estimate available on request) Order of $ 6 million).
Among the Rockefeller's picturesque crown jewels, Claude Monets Cover leaf, square format and magnificent purple Nymphéas en fleur (circa 1914-1917), acquired in 1956 by the artist couple Knoedler & Co. in New York, made a record $ 84.7 million (estimate on request in the region of $ 50 million). Five bidders, four of them on the phone, were following the painting in a marathon battle won by Xin Li Cohen, vice president of Christie's Asia, who was on the phone for a customer.
The pair benefited from many acquisitions, including the Monet, according to the wise advice of Alfred H. Barr Jr., the Museum of Modern Art brilliant founding director
In this sense, also the record Matisse odalisque went on Xin's Bidder No paddle number was announced by the auctioneer and Christie's World President, Jussi Pylkkänen, so that one could not say if it was the same buyer of the plate Monet
Paul Signac's Sun-drenched Pointillistic Seascape Portrieux La Comtesse (Opus no 191) of 1888, brought a rather anemic $ 13.8 million (estimate on request in the region of $ 20 million). The couple acquired the painting for $ 31,000 in the Park-Bernet Galleries in 1957
Signac's mentor Georges Seurat caused a furore with  La rade de Grandcamp (194566), Gary Tinterow, Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in the front row of the showroom, for an apparent trade at $ 34.1 million (estimate on the order of $ 40 million).
Buttonhole on the stairs in front of the salesroom, Tinterow would only say "We did not buy the painting for the museum."
When the Rose Age Picasso arose, Pylkkänen opened a staggering $ 90 million and jogged up to $ 2 million. The hammer fell with a disappointing $ 102 million, probably just $ 2 million, over the confidential backer. The pale, boyish-looking flower seller wears a pearl necklace with stunning dark eyes and a small basket of red poppies. Gertrude Stein and her brother Leo bought the work of the art dealer and former clown Clovis Sagot for $ 30 in 1905. Picasso allegedly quarreled over the price, but was hard enough to accept his modest share. The picture was last seen in New York in 1994 in the exhibition "Masterpieces from the David and Peggy Rockefeller Collection: From Manet to Picasso" at the Museum of Modern Art.
(Speaking of Manet as in Edouard, his little gem still life Lilas et roses of 1882, no bigger than a sheet of writing paper, went to another phone bidder for $ 13 million, surpassing an estimate of 7 to 10 Million Dollar.)
Less well known, but Armand Seguin's Les delicies de la vie (circa 1892-93), a stunning four-panel screen in oil on canvas that lay on board and one The more hedonistic dance represented Hall scene, sold for a record $ 7.7 million (estimated at $ 1 million to $ 1.5 million) to Geneva-based art consultant Thomas Seydoux.
Seydoux, who left the ticket-only admission salesroom, described the painting as "a wonderful piece of rare and high quality that is hard to find."  He was less impressed by the general tenor of the auction and "There seemed to be a lack of firepower, there are great results on paper, but it was a bit slow" – a feeling shared by several other expert observers.
After the sale, David Rockefeller, Jr. turned to the press in the name of his extended family. "We are now well on our way to achieving the goal that our parents set for their philanthropic heritage," he said, "and we look forward to seeing what the rest of this historic week will bring." The Rockefeller cavalcade continues week, including the "Art of the Americas" auction on Wednesday night.