Making the most amount of money ever seen for a Contemporary art auction, Christie’s evening sale on November 14 made a staggering $363.5m (£237.6m) hammer.
This was the third highest auction total ever - only the famous 'Bloch-Bauer'
sale which made $437.7m (£241.3m) at Christie's New York
in November 2006 and the Yves Saint
Laurent-Pierre Bergé collection which made a
premium-inclusive €373.9m (£332.8m/$483.8m) in Paris had
generated a greater total.
As at Sotheby's on
November 13, there were a string of major prices as bidders
contested some of the most sought-after pieces by the biggest names
in the market. Overall, nine lots went for over $10m and the sale
total was well within the $289m-412m estimate.
A major thrust was provided by Andy Warhol as
his Statue of Liberty silkscreen sold to an anonymous
phone bidder at $39m (£25.5m) and his 1966 silkscreen portrait of
Marlon Brando took $21.1m (£13.8m) also to an anonymous buyer.
The latter had previously sold for $4.5m (£2.81m) at Christie's
New York in May 2003. It was bought then by New York businessman
Donald L. Bryant Jr. who was the vendor here and the more-than
four-fold increase demonstrated the extraordinary growth in the
market in the last nine years.
Also drawing hefty competition was a Franz
Kline abstract which took more than four times the
previous artist's record price which had been achieved at Sotheby's
only 24 hours earlier. The untitled work from 1957 sold at $36m
(£23.5m), again to an anonymous telephone bidder.