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Updated by The Saleroom on Jun 18, 2013
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The Most Expensive Items Sold at Auction

A list of the most expensive items that sold at auction. Please note that the prices stated is the final hammer price, without the added auction house commission.


£43.4m ($78.5m) - Gustav Klimt, Adele Bloch-Bauer II, Christie’s New York

13 November 2006Written by ATG Reporter Feeding frenzy sets new record as bidders get their fill despite absence of Lloyd Webber Picasso It was the most valuable single sale in art market history. On the evening of November 8 Christie's set a new benchmark for fine art auctioneering when their ticket-only sale of Impressionist and Modern art realised a premium-inclusive total of $491.5m (£271m).

£43.8m ($67m) - Mark Rothko, No. 1 Royal (Red and Blue), Sotheby’s New York

View auction details, art exhibitions and online catalogues; bid, buy and collect contemporary, impressionist or modern art, old masters, jewellery, wine, watches, prints, rugs and books at sotheby&s auction house

£45m ($68.4m) - Peter Paul Rubens, Massacre of the Innocents, Sotheby’s London

An unknown Rubens painting is bought by an unnamed private collector for a record £49.5m at Sotheby's in London.

£45.7m ($75m) - Vincent Van Gogh, Portrait of Dr Gachet, Christie’s New York

Portrait of Dr. Gachet is one of the most revered paintings by the Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh. It depicts Dr. Paul Gachet, who took care of van Gogh during the final months of his life. There are two authenticated versions of the portrait, both painted in June 1890 at Auvers.

£48.3m ($85m) - Pablo Picasso, Dora Maar au Chat, Sotheby’s New York

Artist Pablo Picasso Year 1941 Type Oil on canvas Dimensions 128.3 cm × 95.3 cm (50.5 in × 37.5 in) Location Private collection Dora Maar au Chat ( Dora Maar with Cat) is a 1941 painting by Pablo Picasso. It depicts Dora Maar, the painter's lover, seated on a chair with a small cat perched on her shoulders.

£50m ($77.5m) - Mark Rothko, Orange, Red, Yellow, Christie’s New York

Mark Rothko's Orange, Red, Yellow sold for $86,882,500, setting a world auction record for any Contemporary work of art and a world auction record for the artist, at New York, Rockefeller Plaza on 8 May 2012 in the Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale.

£54.7m ($93m) - Pablo Picasso, Garcon a la Pipe, Sotheby’s New York

Pablo Picasso's 1905 painting "Boy with a Pipe" sold for $104 million Wednesday at Sotheby's, shattering the record for an auctioned painting. The total includes the auction price of $93 million plus the auction house's commission of about $11 million. "This is the finest work in public hands that was for sale," Sotheby's senior vice president David Norman said.

£58m ($89.3m) - Alberto Giacometti, L’Homme Qui Marche I, Sotheby’s London

L'Homme qui marche I ( The Walking Man I, lit. The Man who Walks I) is the name of any one of the cast bronze sculptures that comprise six numbered editions plus four artist proofs created by Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti in 1961.

£65.1 ($95m) - Pablo Picasso, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, Christie’s New York

The star lot of Christie's May 4 Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale was Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, a sensuous and stunning masterpiece from Picasso's celebrated 1932 series of paintings depicting his muse and mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter. The painting sold for a record $106,482,500, breaking the previous world record for any work of art sold at auction.

£69m ($107m) - Edvard Munch, The Scream, Sotheby’s New York

Edvard Munch's painting The Scream has sold for $120m at a Sotheby's auction in New York. It is the art world's biggest ever auction sale