$179 mln Picasso shows art and QE in fine fettle

Tue May 12, 2015 4:50am EDT
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By Carol Ryan

LONDON May 12 (Reuters Breakingviews) - A high quality sale straddling impressionist and contemporary works paid off for Christie's to the tune of $706 mln. That makes Sotheby's look leaden-footed, even before the regular Christie's sales of both genres. Meanwhile, easy money means more new price records are likely.

Full view will be published shortly.


- A Picasso oil painting from 1955 smashed the record for the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction when it soared to $179.4 million at Christie's in New York on May 11.

- The auction house had estimated "Les femmes d'Alger (Version 'O')" would sell for about $140 million, but several bidders competing via telephone drove the winning bid to $160 million, for a final price of $179,365,000 including a commission of just over 12 percent.   Continued...