Sotheby's said this Self-Portrait (1963-64), estimated at £5m-7m, was created when Warhol was 35, and represented the moment that he "stepped out from behind the camera and into the glare of its flashbulb”.
Part of the original group of such images, it was painted from a strip of photographs taken in a New York dime store photo-booth.
The artwork had been in a private collection since 1980 and this auction comes 30 years after the artist’s death in 1987.
Sotheby’s Contemporary Art evening auction in London on June 28 sold 95.1% of the 41 lots offered. Highlights also included Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 1983, an acrylic and oilstick on canvas, in three parts that was hammered down at £5.63m, against an estimate of £4m-6m.
The premium-inclusive total of the auction was £62.3m, an increase of 20% on the previous year.