A Roman statue of Hadrian, sold for $5m (£3.9m) at Christie’s New York. Image: Christie's Images Ltd 2019.

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The top lot came at The Exceptional Sale on October 29: a Roman sculpture of the Emperor Hadrian billed as “one of the finest ancient statues from the Grand Tour era of collecting” which was consigned by British investment manager Christian Levett. It sold at $5m (£3.9m).

Although it had been estimated ‘in the region of $6m’, it made a substantial return on the $902,500 (£609,840) including premium it had made when Levett bought it in the same rooms in December 2008.

The Old Master paintings and sculpture sale on the same day generated $13.1m (£10.2m).

Among the highlights was a well-preserved classical group study by Anne-Louis Girodet de Roucy-Trioson (1767-1824), one of the ‘team of rivals’ working in the studio of Jacques-Louis David in the 1780s.

Coriolanus Taking Leave of his Family soared over a $120,000- 150,000 estimate and was knocked down at $2.2m (£1.72m), a major record for the artist.

The buyer’s premium was 25/20/13.5%.