After 6 Frenzied Minutes, Art Sale Record Smashed

Bacon triptych fetches $142.5M as balloon dog pops another record

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 13, 2013 12:01 AM CST

(Newser) – The world's super-rich toppled plenty of records at a Christie's art auction in New York City last night—including the record for most expensive auction, which now stands at $691.5 million. A big chunk of that came from a single painting, a 1969 Francis Bacon triptych of his fellow artist Lucian Freud. Three Studies of Lucian Freud sold for $142.5 million after six minutes of frenzied bidding, shattering the record for most expensive artwork ever sold, set by last year's $120 million sale of Edvard Munch's The Scream, the BBC reports.

"I was expecting it to go for around $87 million," the disappointed director of Manhattan's Shin Gallery tells the New York Times. "I loved that painting and I couldn’t control myself. Maybe someday I’ll have another chance." In other sales, Jeff Koon's 12-foot Balloon Dog (Orange) sculpture sold for $58.4 million, a world record for a living artist. World record prices were set for a total of ten artists, including Christopher Wool and Donald Judd, while Andy Warhol's Coca-Cola (3) fetched $57.2 million, $14 million short of the Warhol record, the AP reports.

Balloon Dog (Orange) by Jeff Koons sold for $58.4 million, a new record for a living artist.
"Balloon Dog (Orange)" by Jeff Koons sold for $58.4 million, a new record for a living artist.   (AP Photo/Christie's)
This undated photo provided by Christie's shows Three Studies of Lucian Freud, a triptych by Francis Bacon of his friend Lucian Freud.
This undated photo provided by Christie's shows "Three Studies of Lucian Freud," a triptych by Francis Bacon of his friend Lucian Freud.   (AP Photo/Christie’s)
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