5 Art Auction Record Breakers That Prove the Industry Is Booming

Art history was made at auctions at Sotheby's and Christie's this week.

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The art industry is booming, as proved by record-breaking bidding wars at auction houses Christie's and Sotheby's this week. The sale of Francis Bacon's "Three Studies of Lucian Freud" at Tuesday's auction at Christie's marked the most expensive art sale at an auction ever, and 11 other artists saw personal records broken as well. Wednesday's Sotheby's auction brought in a record haul for the auction house, $199.5 million, which included the record sale of a gemstone at an auction, as well as an all-time high sale for an Andy Warhol piece. Here are some of the record-breakers:

Most Expensive Artwork Sale at an Auction: Francis Bacon's "Three Studies of Lucian Freud"


Bacon's 1967 triptych depicting fellow painter Lucian Freud fetched $142 million Tuesday at the Christie's auction, beating the previous record set by the Edvard Munch's "The Scream" in May 2012.

Most Expensive Gemstone Sale at an Auction: "Pink Dream"


A New York based diamond cutter put down a record $83 million for the 59.60-carat pink diamond, which the buyer Isaac Wolf renamed "Pink Dream."

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Most Expensive Art Work by a Living Artist: Jeff Koons's "Balloon Dog (Orange)"


The $58.4 million paid at Christie's Tuesday for one of Jeff Koons's signature balloon dog sculptures not only broke the personal record for the pop artist, but the record for any living artist, which was previously held by Gerhard Richter.

Most Expensive Andy Warhol: "Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)"


Wednesday's Sotheby's sale of "Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)" for $105 million broke the previous record for a Warhol piece, $71.7 million for "Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I)" in 2007.

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Most Expensive Willem de Kooning: "Untitled VIII"


The 1977 work by Willem de Kooning sold for $32 million at Christie's Tuesday, a record for the abstract expressionist.

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