Christie's sale makes history as Picasso painting smashes records
Christie's auction house in New York has made history, setting new art sales records at yesterday's 'Looking Forward to the Past' auction. Pablo Picasso's 1955 painting Les Femmes d'Alger sold for a staggering $179.4 million including fees at the sale, exceeding the already record breaking estimates from experts of $140 million, and becoming the world's most expensive painting every sold at auction.
The Picasso painting was pursued by five anonymous bidders once the price reached $120 million, all represented by buyers, and placing their bids over the phone, the auction continued at slow $1 million increments before reaching its ultimate conclusion. Amazingly the painting was last bought in 1997 at auction for the price of $31.9 million. Proving that carefully considered 20th century art investments can really pay off.
Also included in the 'Looking Forward to the Past' auction, was a five-foot sculpture by Swiss-born sculptor Alberto Giacometti, entitled Pointing Man which sold for $126 million, setting a new record high for any sculpture sold at auction. And the two combined selling at the same auction was the first time two works over the price at $120 million have sold at the same sale.