Allen Auction tops US$1b, Freud sets own US$86m record

A painting by Lucian Freud that set an auction record for the artist when it sold for US$5.8 million in 1998 has done it again.

Large Interior W11, which Freud painted between 1981-1983, carried a US$75 million presale estimate at Christie's on Wednesday (Nov 9) night and ended up selling, with auction house fees, for US$86.3 million.

The work is part of an auction at Christie's in New York of art from the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's estate. The auction had already exceeded US$1 billion by the time the Freud, lot 34, came up to the block. With are 60 lots in the sale in total, it's now officially the most valuable-ever single-owner sale.

The Freud, which was predicted before the sale to vastly exceed its estimate, is one of the sale's star lots. Its total dwarfs the artist's previous auction record, which was set in 2015 when a large nude sold for US$56.2 million.

Other record-making paintings in the sale include a US$149 million Seurat (lot 8), a US$106 million Gauguin (lot 11), a US$138 million Cezanne (lot 14), a US$105 million Klimt (lot 17) and a US$117 million van Gogh (lot 22). Including buyer's premiums, the sale crested US$1 billion dollars by lot 32, Femme de Venise III by Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti. BLOOMBERG



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