Sotheby's 2012 art auctions produce record results

You'd have been hard-pushed to miss the news of The Scream selling at Sotheby's this year, and now the auction house is revelling in its record-breaking art results as 2012 comes to a close.

Sotheby's 2012 art auction records
A remarkable line-up of record breakers was seen at Sotheby's this year

In a release, the auction house rightfully boasts about the successes of its art auctions over the last 12 months, which were led by the sale of Edvard Munch's The Scream at $119.9m, a new world record for any work of art.

Sotheby's also saw the highest-ever price for a drawing sold at auction with its sale of Raphael's Head of Young Apostle, which also achieved the highest price across all categories in Europe this year.

A new record price for the work of a living artist was set in October by Gerhard Richter's Abstraktes Bild. The piece was sold amid the Frieze art fair in London and was formerly part of the collection of guitarist Eric Clapton.

Mark Rothko's No. 1 (Royal Red and Blue) was the year's second highest selling lot, achieving $75.1m at the New York Contemporary Art Evening Sale, which also saw the highest total realisation of any auction in Sotheby's 268 year history.

As the auction house confirms its title as the world-leader for art auctions, it is already looking towards 2013 with anticipation. January will see Old Masters Week in New York, with Sotheby's auctions of the estate of Giancarlo Baroni and Old Master Drawings.  

See Paul Fraser Collectibles' 2012 art auction review for more on the past 12 months.

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