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Egon Schiele’s Houses with Colorful Laundry Sells for Record $40.1 Million

Sotheby's auctioneer sold a rare cityscape by Austrian artist Egon Schiele Sotheby’s auctioneer sold a rare cityscape by Austrian artist Egon Schiele There was a world auction record for Egon Schiele at Sotheby’s on June 22. His Häuser mit bunter Wäsche (Vorstadt II) / Houses with Colorful Laundry (Suburb II) made £24,6 million ($40.1 million) almost double the previous auction record for the Austrian artist. Despite the work setting a new auction benchmark for the artist, it sold at the lower end of the estimated price of between £22 million and £30 million. Executed in 1914 at the height of Egon Schiele’s short career, four years before his death in the Spanish influenza epidemic at the age of 28, the painting is one of the most impressive of the artist’s few monumental cityscapes and is loosely based on motifs drawn from Krumau, the town known to have inspired some of his greatest works. It was this town in Southern Bohemia in which Schiele’s mother was born, and to which Schiele and his lover Valerie (Wally) Neuzil moved in 1911 in order to escape what they perceived as the claustrophobic atmosphere of Vienna.

Lady Blunt, a Rare Stradivarius Violin Sets $15.9 Million Auction Record to Help Japan Quake Relief

Lady Blunt, World’s Most Expensive Stradivari Violin A rare Stradivarius violin has smashed the world record after selling for $15.9 million at a London A Rare Stradivarius Violin from 1721 sold to an anonymous bidder for a record £9.8 million ($15.9 million) at auction in a charity sale for Japanese disaster relief. Tarisio, the online auction house for fine instruments, sold the Lady Blunt Stradivarius violin for a world-record price, at their June 20 auction, over 4 times the previous auction record for a Stradivari violin. The exquisite instrument was owned for 30 years by Lady Anne Blunt, granddaughter of the celebrated English poet Lord Byron, and is in much the same condition as when it left its maker’s hands, expert said. The sale of the Lady Blunt sparked massive interest from collectors around the globe, eager for the unique opportunity to own a piece of history. This was the first time that the violin has sold publicly since 1971 when it was sold at Sotheby’s for £84,000, also a world record at the time.

Jeff Koons’ Pink Panther Sculpture Sells for Meager $16.8 Million

Pink Panther Sculpture by Jeff Koons Jeff Koons’ iconic Pink Panther sculpture has fetched $16.8 million at the Sotheby’s Spring Sale of Contemporary Art. The 1988 porcelain sculpture of a blonde woman hugging a pink panther toy it was earlier expected to sell for between $20 million and $30 million. There were three editions made of the work, the one at Tuesday’s auction is the artist’s proof. One was sold at Christie’s in 1999 for $1.8 million, reportedly to the newsprint magnate Peter Brant. The others are in the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

Jeff Koons’ Iconic Pink Panther Sculpture to Highlight Sotheby’s Spring Sale of Contemporary Art

Jeff Koons' Iconic Pink Panther Sculpture Jeff Koons’ Iconic Pink Panther Sculpture Jeff Koons’ iconic sculpture of a Pink Panther hugging a bare-breasted blonde is estimated to bring $20 million to $30 million at Sotheby’s Spring Sale of Contemporary Art auction on May 10. The porcelain sculpture is the artist’s proof from an edition of three with the other examples in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and a prominent private American collection, and belongs to the artist’s iconic Banality series that includes Michael Jackson and Bubbles, Bear and Policeman and Ushering in Banality. Pink Panther is one of the most outstanding achievements of Jeff Koons’s illustrious career. It is immediately identifiable as a masterpiece not only of the artist’s historic canon, but also of the epoch of recent contemporary art, said Tobias Meyer, Sotheby’s worldwide head of contemporary art about the vibrant pink-and-yellow work.

Exceptional Single-Owner Collection Totals £93.5/$150.5/€110.3 million at Sotheby’s

Francis Bacon’s Triptych of Lucian Freud Sells for £23/$37/€27 million

Salvador Dalí Portrait Fetches £13.5/$21.7/€15.9 million

WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR THE ARTIST & ANY SURREALIST WORK OF ART LONDON, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2011 – Tonight, Sotheby’s single-owner sale of Modern and Contemporary art, Looking Closely: A Private Collection, was held in a charged saleroom where even attendees with seats were upstanding for some of the intense bidding battles that ensued. The top lot of the night was Francis Bacon’s extremely rare triptych of Lucian Freud which was contested by no fewer than ten bidders until it tripled its pre-sale low estimate and finally sold to an anonymous bidder in the saleroom for £23,001,250 / $37,004,411 / €27,129,930 (pre-sale est. £7-9 million). The second-highest price of the night was for Salvador Dalí’s Portrait de Paul Eluard, which was fiercely pursued by no fewer than nine prospective buyers, tripling the record established for the artist only last night in London (£4.1m) and continuing to escalate beyond that to achieve a world record price for the artist and any surrealist work of art at auction. An anonymous bidder on the phone finally won it for £13,481,250 / $21,688,635 / €15,901,108 (pre-sale est. £3.5—5m). The sale saw four new records set for artists at auction, with more than one record twice broken for the same artist.