Christie’s sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art may have lacked the theatre of the Sotheby’s auction the previous night, when a gaggle of demonstrators protested the “Orgy of the Rich.” All the same, the London sale earlier today didn’t lack for drama. Dealer Larry Gagosian paid $17.4 million, more than twice the high estimate, for an Andy Warhol self-portrait, in private hands since 1974.
Fully 28 of the 64 lots offered sold for more than $1 million, and no fewer than five artist auction records were set on the way to a $98.8 million total. The result was considerably above the $83.3 million expected, and bettered Sotheby’s $71 million total on the night before. Helping to boost Christie’s final tally were the $6.5 million paid for a Martial Raysse portrait–it was almost three times the painting’sÂ high estimate–and the $4.7 million claimed by Jeff Koons’ “Winter Bears.”