Last night's total was also less than the total for 2014's sale, which was $131 755 000. Nonetheless, the stand-out piece from the sale was Francis Bacon's Seated Woman (Portrait of Muriel Belcher) 1961 which sold via telephone bid for $28 165 000, a handsome price above the low end of the $25-35 million estimate.

This seated female nude is a rare study for Bacon, as he is best known for his male subjects. The piece was last sold at auction at Sotheby's Paris sale in 2007 for $20 153 400.

During last night's bidding a Phillips' staff member, who is pregnant, passed out as she sat at the phone station, halting the auction.

Interesting pieces from the sale included Mark Tansey's Hedge, 2011, which depicts an avalanche falling. It sold to dealer and former Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern specialist Charles Moffett for $5 653 000 against a $3.5 -4.5 million pre-sale estimate.

"Broadway Boogie Woogie (Sculptural study, Twenty-two part Vertical Construction)" 1991-2006 by Fred Sandback was sold to Cappellazzo for $545 000, a healthy sum when compared to the $400 000-600 000 estimate.

Andreas Gursky's James Bond Island II also reached a good price as it was sold to Victoria Gelfand of Gagosian Gallery for $725,000. The piece had been estimated to fetch between $500 000-700,000.

Search Phillips on Barnebys.