Picasso Sells at Auction for Almost $40 Million Over Estimate

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The Women of Algiers (Version ‘O’) Sold for Over $179 Million

The Women of Algiers by Pablo Picasso

January’s auction at Christie’s was a huge success. Especially considering the piece by Picasso, The Women of Algiers (Version ‘O’). The preauction estimate was about $140 million dollars. The sale shattered that and set an all-time record when it sold for $179.3 million US.

It should be noted that when we talk about setting records, yes, that’s a record for a work by the great Pablo Picasso. It is also a record for ANY work at ANY auction. And that’s after the prices are adjusted for inflation!

Interesting, but perhaps not surprising, there were no competitors actually in the auction. All the bids were made over the telephone.

Brett Gorvy won the final battle, with a $160 million hammer price.

“Well done, Brett, well done,” the dealer Tony Shafrazi shouted from the audience.

The painting was part of a series that Picasso began in 1954. They are based on the work of Eugène Delacroix, whose masterpiece dates back to 1834. This specific painting was created in 1955 and had only been seen at auction one time earlier. That was in 1997 when it sold for $31.9 million. Those smart art buyers made a nice profit when they sold the piece this year.

Read more about the sale as reported on ArtNews.

You can read more about the history of the painting here

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