Ai-Weiwei-Zodiac-Heads Ai Weiwei's Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, 2010
Image via Phillips

The piece was purchased at Phillips in February of this year for $4.4 million, setting a new record for Weiwei's work at auction.

Famed art advisor Stefan Simchowitz is rumoured to have consulted Parker on the sale, which Parker won on the phone against two other telephone bidders.

Sean Parker Image via Forbes Sean Parker
Image via Forbes

The pieces portray Chinese zodiac signs and are influenced by 18th century sculptures created for a fountain clock in Beijing's Summer Palace, which were later looted. Parker's purchase is the seventh edition in a series of eight and was debuted at Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, in 2011.