2013: A Record-Breaking Year at Auction

  • January 01, 2014 14:09

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Norman Rockwell's Saying Grace brought a record $46 million at Sotheby's on Dec. 4, 2013.

Prices at auction for artwork in the upper echelon of the market surged in 2013. Postwar and contemporary artists, primarily American, ranked in the top spots.

New buyers from emerging-markets in Asia and the Middle East made an impact on prices along with the worldd's wealthiest individuals. The top 10 auction lots of 2013 each fetched over $45 million, raising a total $752.2 million, a 27 percent increase from 2012 and an 82 percent jump from 2011, reports Bloomberg. The highest auction total ever was achieved in a three-hour sale at Christie's that brought $692 million.

The top ten prices at auction in 2013:

1. Francis Bacon’s 1969 “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” became the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction when it fetched $142.4 million at Christie’s. It is now on loan to the Portland Art Museum.

2. Andy Warhol’s silk-screen painting “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)” sold for an artist auction record $105.4 million at Sotheby’s.

3, New York-based diamond cutter Isaac Wolf won a 59.6-carat pink diamond at Sotheby’s in Geneva for $83.2 million, the highest price paid ever for a gemstone at auction.

4. Jeff Koons, 58, became the priciest living artist at auction when his 10-foot tall sculpture “Balloon Dog (Orange)” brought $58.4 million at Christie’s.

5. Jackson Pollock's 1948 drip painting "Number 19" brought $58.36 at Christie's, an auction record for an Abstract Expressionist work.

6. Warhol’s 1962 painting of a Coca-Cola bottle fetched $57.3 million at Christie’s 

7. Roy Lichtenstein's "Woman in a Flowered Hat" fetched $56.1 million at Christie's.

8. A 1955 bronze bust that Alberto Giacommeti created of his brother brought $50 million at Sotheby's.

9. Jean-Michel Basquiat's "Dustheads" brought $48,8 million, an artist auction record.

10. Two works tied for tenth at $46,1 million: Mark Rothko's 1957 orange canvas titled "No. 11 (Untitled)" and Norman Rockwell's "Saying Grace," depicting an older woman and a boy saying grace in a busy restaurant.


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