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Alberto Giacometti sculpture brings £65m at Sotheby’s

sotherAn Alberto Giacometti sculpture broke records at the auction house last night by becoming the highest priced artwork sold via an auction with a stunning final bid of £65m.

The auction took place at London’s Sotheby’s and brought in five times more than its pre-sale estimate of £12 to £18m.  It also beat the current record for the top selling auction piece set in 2004 by a Picasso artwork.

Adding to the surprise of course is the fact that the piece sold so well even in the midst of the recession, a fact made more ironic given the fact it was up for auction due to the recession, given it was part of a collection that Dresdner Bank’s new owners chose to sell off.

For buyers the Giacometti auction was extra important given the fact that the sculpture is often considered to be one of his most respected 20th century artworks.  This created quite a buzz throughout the auction room with interest in the sculpture clear as people started bidding without prompting from the auctioneer.

Ten bidders competed for the piece in all with two telephone bidders who continued to vie for the piece after it reached past £35m to the astonishment of most in the room.

Co-chairmen of Sotheby’s, Melanie Clore, stated that they were thrilled with the result of the sale which was the highest sale made at a London auction house as well.

For now the auction house refuses to reveal who the telephone bidder was that won the painting.

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