And of course…

$491 Million Sale Shatters Art Auction Record


In a landmark sale, the biggest in auction history, nearly half a billion dollars’ worth of art changed hands last night at Christ’s sale of Impressionist and modern art. Soaring prices for blockbuster paintings by Klimt and Gauguin left thousands of spectators, who came to watch and to buy, gasping.

“It was certainly the most amazing sale I’ve ever taken,“ said a dazed Christopher Burge, honorary chairman of Christ’s and the evening’s auctioneer, after the two-and-a-half hour sale. The evening’s total, $491.4 million, was well over $200 million more than that for any previous auction, topping its high estimate of $427.8 million. (The previous record was $269 million at Christ’s in May 1990.) Of the 84 lots up for sale last night, only 6 failed to sell. The sale included an estimated $125 million worth of artworks that had recently been returned to the heirs of owners from whom they were looted by the Nazis during World War II.

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1 thought on “And of course…”

  1. And that’s without Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Picasso.

    On that front: I wonder about the fact that it was withdrawn despite getting judicial clearance; I wouldn’t be surprised if they weren’t getting quite the expected interest. After all, Kirchner’s “Berliner Strassenszene” had similar issues and it went on the block nonetheless. For all their adamant statements of being in the right, something made Christies and/or Mr. Les Miz flinch.

    Let me stress here that I’m not being coy – I know nothing about this from inside sources. This is 100-percent pure speculation.

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