Gormley's Angel of the North flies to World Record $5.4m price at Christie's

The collectibles markets were touched by an angel this week, with the £3.4m ($5.4m) World Record sale of an Anthony Gormley sculpture.

Angel of the North, 1996, is a 6ft 2in "miniature" model of Gormley's world famous same-titled sculpture. It was originally built prior to the installation of the full-scale version.

The latter, weighing 200 tonnes, built from steel and raising 65ft off the ground, can be found in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, UK. 

The latest £3.4m sale is now the highest-ever price paid at auction for a Gormley artwork. It was sold to an anonymous bidder at Christie's in London.

One of just five built, the piece had been estimated at £1.2m-2m. The sculpture was originally cast form the artist's own body.

The full-size Angel of the North was commissioned by Gateshead Council as a 'beacon for the North of England'. It was competed two years later than his miniature version, in 1998.

The real Angel of the North in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, UK

Last year, a 20/1 bronze scale model - one of 12 - used in the 65ft statue's preparatory stages spread its wings on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow.

The maquette was the final sculpture which persuaded Gateshead Council to vote in favour of building the full version.

The 6ft version on the Antiques Roadshow was valued at £1m, the highest valuation in the TV programme's history. (You can see the valuation in the above video.)

Prior to that, another circa-6ft Angel of the North had auctioned for £3m, which the £3.4m example sold this week has now comfortably surpassed.

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