As Stocks Slide, Hirst Auction Breaks Records
Unprecedented one-man auction exceeds high estimate
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2008 8:18 AM CDT
Media surround a work 'The Incredible Journey' by British Artist Damien Hirst at an auction house in London, Monday, Sept. 8, 2008.    (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
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(Newser) – Damien Hirst won the biggest gamble of his career at Sotheby's last night—as lot after lot of the artist's work beat high estimates, totaling $127.2 million in sales. While the markets tumbled in New York, bidders in the London saleroom bought up dozens of brand-new Hirsts, from taxidermied animals to abstract paintings, in an auction that could have far-reaching implications for the art world.

As the New York Times reports, Hirst bypassed his dealers in New York and London in order to sell new work directly at auction—thus pocketing a major fraction of the sky-high prices. Hirst put 223 works up for sale, all made in the last 2 years, but fears of flooding the market seem to have been unfounded. The sale continues through today.