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

(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.

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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.
(Read more Damien Hirst stories.)

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