Hirst Auction Yields $199M

Dealer-less London sale smashes records
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2008 4:50 PM CDT
An embalmed calf with hooves and horns of 18-carat gold titled "The Golden Calf" sold for 10.3 million pounds (US$18.5 million) at Sotheby's auction house Monday Sept. 15 2008.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Damien Hirst sold 223 pieces of artwork for $199 million by the end of a two-day auction yesterday, shattering the record for most revenue in an auction of a single artist’s work, Forbes reports. The previous mark was held by Pablo Picasso, with 88 sold for $20 million in 1993. Hirst himself set a target of $116 million.

After Sotheby’s commission and $6.2 million in charitable contributions, Hirst pocketed $172 million from the sale. The most expensive piece, “The Golden Calf,” a 20-ton calf suspended in formaldehyde with 18-karat gold hooves and horns, sold for $18.6 million. The auction shows that the art world is thriving, at least for now, despite the global economic downturn.