Christie's took home two heavy record this spring. Pablo Picasso's Les Femmes d'Alger was sold for £115 000 000 in May, making it the world's most expensive painting to be sold at auction. In the same sale several other great masterpieces were sold and the total for the auction was £451 778 039. A number that is somewhat hard to get one's head around, but in light of this year's sales it is increasingly becoming the norm.

blog Picasso, Femmes d'Alger (Version "O"), 1955
Image via Christie's

Christie's also broked the world record world's most expensive sculpture sold at auction, Pointing Man by Giacometti sold for £90 428 188. In the same sale Piet Mondrian's Composition No. III with Red, Blue, Yellow, and Black, 1929 was bought for £32 363 671, setting a new world record for the Mondrian.

blog (1) Pointing Man by Giacometti
Image via Christie's

Sotheby's has not shied away from breaking records. In February they saw the highest total sales amount ever for an auction held in London, with  a total of £186.44 million. Sotheby's was close to hitting this record again in May, when the sales total for another auction was £178 590 000. This sale saw the highest price paid for a Van Gogh work. Last month, the Department for Contemporary Art, smashed it's own record with a painting by Andy Warhol selling for £20.9 million.

In May, Sotheby's held their jewellery auction in Geneva which raised a total of CHF 149.9 million (£101 million). The 25 carat ruby named The Sunrise Ruby set a world record with as it sold for CHF 28 250 000(£19 054 073).

Records were set at Sotheby's for literature too, as a first edition copy of The Hobbit, signed by Tolkien himself with a personal message written in Elvish, purchased for £137 000.

blog (2) Lucas Cranach the Elder, The Bocca della Verita
Image via Sotheby's

Despite it being the middle of summer, the auction scene has hardly fell silent. Last week at Sotheby's sale Old Master & British Paintings several records for individual artists were set, including the German Renaissance artist Lucas Cranach the Elder, as his masterpiece The Bocca della Verita had a hammer price of £9 333 000.

Check out Sotheby's and Christie's on Barnebys here.

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