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Donald Judd sculpture – €400,000 (£363,635) at Lempertz.

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Among his first works were brightly painted plywood boxes, the upper surfaces of which had a semi-circular indentation. The objects were placed on the floor, thus forming a direct connection to the surrounding space.

Some 20 years later, he returned to this form of sculpture, which he developed to actually incorporate a tube or half tube, made of aluminium, in the upper surface of the plywood box.

Lempertz (25% buyer’s premium) in Cologne prominently displayed Judd’s Half Solid Tube Piece from 1990 on the cover of its catalogue of Contemporary art offered on December 8.

The 20in x 3ft 9in x 2ft 6in (50cm x 1.15m x 77cm) box, painted in the cadmium red favoured by the artist, was sold by a Cologne gallery in the early 1990s to a local collector, who consigned it to Lempertz.

On auction day it lived up to its expectations, by selling for the estimated €400,000 (£363,635) and taking the top price of the sale.