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Boom continues in sales of Swiss art

Paintings by Swiss artists have fetched over SFr8.5 million ($5 million) at a Sotheby's auction in Zurich. The highest price was SFr1.65 million, for "Coucher de soleil jaune et vert" by Felix Valloton.

Valloton's painting fetched four times more than the pre-auction estimate.

Only two days earlier, at Christie's in Zurich, similarly high prices were paid for works by Swiss painters, including a record nearly SFr3 million for another canvas by Valloton.

Irene Stoll, who is head of the Sotheby's Swiss Paintings Department, told swissinfo she was "extremely pleased" with the result. "The prices were as high as we expected and in some cases higher," she said.

A painting by Ferdinand Hodler - "Der Niesen von Gwatt aus" - fetched SFr507,400, and works by Giovanni Giacometti, Cuno Amiet and Adolf Dietrich also went for well over the estimated prices.

Swiss art expert, Barbara Basting, says the high bidding at both auctions came as no surprise because of the recent boom in the market for Swiss paintings. "For years the quality of many of these works was underestimated," she told swissinfo. "It's only now that the market is recognising this."

swissinfo with agencies

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