Bacon's Portrait of Henrietta Moraes eats the rest for breakfast at Christie's auction
Christie's contemporary art auction starred Francis Bacon's £21.3m Portrait of Henrietta Moraes
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Wednesday 15 February 2012
Christie's has been having a pretty successful time at their Art auctions recently, with a work by Henry Moore breaking records just last week.
The small but perfectly formed London Evening Auction of Post-War & Contemporary Art continued the trend: offering 65 lots, it sold 58 of them (at 95% of the auction's value) to achieve a stunning £80.6m.
The star lot was as expected: the Francis Bacon portrait. In fact it was not the only Bacon work in the top 10 with his Studies of Isabel Rawsthorne (1983) bringing £1.7m, but it was his Portrait of Henrietta Moraes from two decades earlier that people had come to see.
Not publicly issued with an estimate ahead of the sale, the work sold for an impressive £21,321,250 - over a quarter of the overall sale's total - to an anonymous bidder.
In fact all of the top ten works were sold to bidders listed as anonymous. If this is despite Christie's best efforts to find out it's a little mysterious, but the auctioneer won't mind too much if bidders are coy if they produce the currency.
The auction wouldn't be complete without a record, and one came in the surprising form of Christopher Wool's 1955 work Untitled, which beat its £2.5m-3.5m listing to sell for £4.9m - a world record price for the artist at auction.
Other highlights in the sale were Gerhard Richter's Abstraktes Bild which brought £9.9m and Nicolas de Staël's Agrigente.
Collectors who'd like to get close to a great contemporary artist will be pleased to know that a polo neck jumper which Andy Warhol wore is available for sale from our stock right now.
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