So - in these times of global economic recession, how are the art markets doing?
Well, Sotheby's has an answer to that question, this week, after announcing that its net income from art auctions rose to $86.2m during 2010's second quarter.
According to Bloomberg, the $86.2m made by the company works out to $1.26 per share. The figure is taken from the three months ending June 30.
The results apparently surpassed expectations on Wall Street - and, in comparison to 2009, Sotheby's profits are up $12.2m (or 18 cents per share), with revenue rising 68% to $281.4m.
Big auction successes for Sotheby's this year included the World Record price of $45,029,900 achieved by Joseph William Turner's masterpiece, Modern Rome.
A new auction record for a Turner, the work was consigned by a descendant of the 5th Earl of Rosebery. Rosebery bought the painting back in 1878 while on honeymoon with his wife Hannah Rothschild.
Sotheby's latest figures are certainly testament to the resilience of the art markets - and the company will be hoping to continue this success into 2010's second half.
Watch this space for news on forthcoming Sotheby's auctions.
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