The running total of the auctions at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips was $1.51bn as ATG went to press, which compared to $1.2bn last year.
The headline lot was a Jean-Michel Basquiat which was knocked down at $98m (£76m) at Sotheby’s, setting a house record and the fifth-highest ever auction price in sterling.
The acrylic, spray paint and oilstick on canvas from 1982 carried an estimate in excess of $60m but drew a 10-minute bidding competition before it was knocked down to Japanese e-commerce bi l l ionaire Yusaku Maezawa.
Following the 11th-hour withdrawal of Egon Schiele’s Danaë estimated at $30m-40m at Sotheby’s, the highest price at the Impressionist & Modern sales came for the Constantin Brancusi sculpture, La muse endormie. Outstripping Christie’s $20m-30m estimate, this early cast from 1913 was knocked down at a record $51m (£39.5m).
Art adviser Tobias Meyer, formerly of Sotheby’s, bought it for a client.