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An additional $800m came from private and dealer sales.

The firm were keen to point out that thanks to the introduction of a minimum lot value – set at £3000 in London – their sales total came from 42 per cent fewer lots than Christie’s, who announced worldwide sales totals of $6.3bn ($539m of which was from private and dealer sales).

Sotheby’s expect to announce full-year audited results at the end of February.