Jenny Saville's Shift was the corker of the night, which was purchased by Liu Yiqian's Long Museum for £6 million against an estimate of £1.5-2 million. Four bidders including Larry Gagosian battled for the painting, which will go on display as part of the ''She'' show taking place in Shanghai.

Jenny Saville, Shift, 1996-7 Image: Sotheby's Jenny Saville, Shift, 1996-7
Image: Sotheby's

Last year, Liu Yiqian paid $170.4 million for Modigliani’s Nu couché.

The final result for the sale was £52.2 million inclusive of fees, against an estimate of £35.4 -£50 million, with 87% of lots selling.

Works by Jean Debuffet, Keith Haring, Adrian Ghenie, Neo Rauch and David LaChapelle also hit big figures despite the U.K. market turmoil.