The Most Expensive Works Sold in Auctions Recently

Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe portrait has sold as the most expensive 20th century artwork recently. So, would you like to learn other expensive sales at auction houses? Here are some most expensive works sold nowadays.

According to a news published in late 2021, three big auction houses (Christie’s, Phillips, and Sotheby’s) hit a record $15 billion last year. The same news states that between 35 and 40 percent of buyer were first-time auctioneers, the percent varied by auction house. Another interesting data is that almost two-thirds of these new customers made their first purchase through online sales. As we are about to complete the first half of 2022, it can be said that there is two roughly signals for the past year: Firstly up, with the end of pandemic, sales in auctions are increasing and the market is reviving, and the second one is that online sales are now a significant part of market with young buyer and collectors. Besides, it is seen that online sales provide opportunity for art lovers to buy a work of art, albeit low-budget purchases. No doubt that increasing interest and accessibility in the art is good news for everyone, but we are still keeping our eyes on record-breaking sales in auction news firstly. Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, which broke a world record by selling for $195 million on May 10, is just one example of these sales.

“Shot Sage Blue Marilyn”, Andy Warhol (Christie’s)

Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, which is one of the famous portraits of the world, sold for $195 million at Christie’s. Thus, the painting broke a record as the most expensive painting sold in the 20th century. Rumor has it that, the new owner of the painting is Larry Gagosian, who is the owner of the Gagosian Art Gallery, but there is not yet an official statement. The income from the sale will be donated to the Zurich-based Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation. The foundation invests in health and education care for children around the world.

Courtesy of Christie’s

“Le Violon d’Ingres”, Man Ray (Christie’s)

Known as one of the most famous photographs of American photographer Man Ray’s “Le Violon d’Ingres” was sold for $12.4 million at a Christie’s auction. The photograph is now the most expensive photograph ever sold at an auction. This black and white image, taken in 1924, captures the naked body of a woman that looks like a violin. Christie’s estimated selling price for the photograph was around $5-6 million. The photograph fetch to $12.4 million and became one of the most expensive sales of recent times.

Courtesy of Christie’s

1967 London Cartier Crash (Loupe This)

Another expensive sale came from the 1967 London Cartier Crash, which went down history as the most expensive Cartier Crush watch ever sold. Sold for $1.650.000 million, the vintage watch broke a record, doubling its estimated selling price. The watch is inspired by two sources: Salvador Dalí’s “The Persistency of Memory” and a watch damaged in a car accident. The watch sold at Loupe This, which is an online watch platform, and the sale is an example of the recent rise of the online auction market.

The Rock (Christie’s)

Extracted from a mine in South Africa, the 228.31 carat drop-shaped stone, The Rock is the largest white diamond ever offered for sale at an auction. The Rock, bigger than a golf ball, became the star piece of the Magnificent Jewels sale organized by Christie’s in Geneva on May 11. With an estimated selling price of between $20 and $30 million, The Rock was sold for $21 million. Although it is the most expensive sale of the auction, it fell short of expectations compared to its rarity. (The most expensive jewelry ever sold at an auction is The Pink Star, which sold at Sotheby’s in 2017. The 59.6-carat pink diamond sold for $71 million.)

Courtesy of Christie’s

And NFT…

NFTs have quickly become a part of the auction sales. “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” by digital artist Michael Joseph Winkelmann, who is also known as Beeple, is the most expensive NFT ever sold. Sold for $69.300.000 million at Christie’s in 2021, the NFT is a collage of 5.000 works by the artist. The digital work is not only the most expensive NFT work ever sold, but also the 3rd most expensive artwork of any living artist.

“Everydays: The First 5000 Days”
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