Initially, one can quickly conclude that Christie's took home two heavy records this spring. Pablo Picasso's Les Femmes d'Alger went under the hammer for $179 365 000 in May, securing its place as the world's most expensive painting sold at auction. The painting was in the company of several other great masterpieces as the total value of the auction was $705 858 000. A number that is somewhat difficult to take in, but in terms of the record rainfall we had in 2015, it becomes more understandable.

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

Christie's also took home the record for the world's most expensive sculpture sold at auction, Pointing Man by Giacometti which sold for $141 285 000. At the same auction Piet Mondrian's painting Composition No. III with Red, Blue, Yellow, and Black, 1929 was bought for $50 565 000, which was a new world record for the artist.

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

Sotheby's has not been shy of records. In February they struck a record in London with the highest total sales amount ever for the city, with £186.44 million ($291.35 million) in one auction. One of the many pieces sold at the auction was a collection of five works by Claude Monet. Sotheby's was close to hitting this record back in May, when the sales total for another auction was £178 590 000 ($279 079 914) in which the most expensive painting by Van Gogh was sold. Just a few weeks ago, the Department for Contemporary Art, beat it's own record as a painting by Andy Warhol sold for £20.9 million ($32.6 million).

It is not only art that has sold well at Sotheby's. In May, Sotheby's held their jewelry auction in Geneva raised a total of CHF 149.9 million ($158.4 million). The 25 carat large ruby The Sunrise Ruby set a world record itself with a selling price of CHF 28 250 000($29 850 273).

Records were set at Sotheby's for literature, as a first edition copy of The Hobbit, signed by Tolkien himself with a personal message written in Elvish, sold for £137 000 ($214 069).

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

Although we are in the middle of the summer, the auction scene has hardly fell silent. Last week at Sotheby's sale Old Master & British Paintings several price records for individual artists were set, including the German Renaissance artist Lucas Cranach the Elder, perhaps his most important masterpiece The Bocca della Verita was purchased for £9 333 000 ($14 583 279).

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

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