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Sotheby's Ground-Breaking Two-Day Auction of New Works by Damien Hirst Realises $200 M
Damien Hirst, b. 1965 St. Anthony's Fire, household gloss on plastic skeleton. Photo: Courtesy of Sotheby's.

LONDON.- Following the tremendous result achieved last night for the Evening session of Beautiful Inside My Head Forever - Sotheby’s historic and ground-breaking two-day auction of new works by Damien Hirst - the Day Sale continued to attract unprecedented interest, bringing the combined total for the entire two-day auction to the remarkable sum of £111,464,800 (US$200,752,179/€140,160,487) – well in excess of its high estimate (est. £68-98 million).

Following the conclusion of the sale today, Damien Hirst said: "I think the market is bigger than anyone knows, I love art and this proves I'm not alone and the future looks great for everyone!"

Commenting on the exceptional results of this unique sale, Patrick Van Maris, Managing Director Sotheby ‘s Europe, said: “With the 11-day pre-sale exhibition and two-day sale of new works by one of world’s most successful living artists, Damien Hirst, Sotheby’s has made auction history. The sale has broken major new ground and set several new and important benchmarks – including a new auction record for a work by the artist. The sales attracted an unprecedented number of new buyers and bidders, with significant activity from a remarkably broad range of geographical locations. Beautiful Inside My Head Forever is undoubtedly the sale of the century… to date, and I am very proud that Sotheby’s has been the place where it happened. Remarkably, the sale took place almost exactly 50 years after Sotheby’s staged the sale of seven Impressionist paintings from the Estate of the Jacob Goldschmidt, the first evening sale since the 18th century, which revolutionised the art world.”

• The Evening Sale comprised 56 lots, 54 of which sold during the auction (the remaining two in fact sold privately before the sale closed), with 96% sold by value – the second highest sold by value rate ever seen at a Sotheby’s London Contemporary Art auction.

• The auction saw three lots sell for over £5 million and 18 lots sell for more than £1 million, with two lots selling for $10 million, four lots selling for over $5 million and 37 lots for more than $1 million.

• 35% of the buyers in the Evening Sale were new to the Contemporary Art department and 18% were new to Sotheby’s.

• Of the bidders new to Sotheby’s, 25% came from the new markets.

• 74.1% of lots sold realised prices over their high estimates

• Of the bidders registered in the sale, 16% were new to Sotheby's and 35% were new to the Contemporary Art department.

• The average sold lot value was £1.3 million – representing the third highest average sold lot value for a sale of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s London.

Top lots:
• The Golden Calf (lot 13): calf, 18 carat gold, glass, goldplated steel, silicone and formaldehyde solution with Carrara marble plinth, made £10,345,250 (€13,029,797/ US$18,661,796) – establishing a new auction record for a work by the artist in sterling. (Previous record: £9,652,000 / US$ 19,075098 for Lullaby Spring – established at Sotheby’s London, June, 2007)

• The Kingdom (lot 5): tiger shark, glass, steel, silicone and formaldehyde solution with steel plinth, made £9,561,250 (€12,042,352/US$17,247,539) - more than double the high estimate of £4 - 6 million (€ 5,060,000-7,590,000 / US$7,900,000-11,850,000)

• Fragments of Paradise (lot 51) stainless steel and glass with manufactured diamonds, made £5,193,250 (€6,540,876 / US$ 9,368,104) – around five times the pre-sale estimate of £1-1.5 million.

• Here Today, Gone Tomorrow (lot 46): glass, stainless steel, fish, fish skeletons, acrylic, MDF, paint and formaldehyde solution, sold for £2,953,250 (€3,719,605/$5,327,368)

• Memories of / Moments With You (lot 11): gold-plated steel and glass with manufactured diamonds, made £2,617,250 (€3,296,415/US$4,721,257) – more than double the high estimate of £800,000-1,200,000 (€ 1,020,000-1,520,000/US$ 1,580,000-2,370,000)

• The Black Sheep with Golden Horn, (lot 9): made £2,617,250 (€3,296,415/US$4,721,257)

• The Day Sale realised £40,919,700 – £7 million over the high estimate for the Day Sale (est. £25- 36 million).

• The morning session was 100% sold by lot and value.

• In the entire Day Sale, only 3 lots failed to find a buyer.

• 76.8% of the lots sold for above their high estimates.

• The Day Sale was 98.2% by lot and 98.4% sold by value – the highest sold through rate and sold by value rate of any Sotheby’s London Day Sale of Contemporary Art.

• The average lot value in the Day Sale was: £250,193 – the highest average lot value for any Day Sale of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s London.

• The auction saw 6 lots sell for more than £1 million and 11 lots sell for over $1 million.

Top lots:
• The Dream (Lot 110): pony with horn in formaldehyde, sold for £2,337,250
(€2,943,771/US$4,197,935) against a pre-sale estimate of £2-3 million.

• Ascended (Lot 147): butterfly grid, made £2,281,250 (€2,873,239/US$4,097,353 ), more than four times its pre-sale low estimate (est. £500,000-700,000)

• Unknown Pleasures (Lot 206): diamond cabinet, realised £1,665,250
(€2,088,058/US$2,990,956) almost three times its high estimate (est. £400-600,000)

• Reincarnated (Lot 117): butterfly grid, sold for £1,609,250 (€2,026,853 /US$2,890,374) against a pre-sale estimate of £500,000-700,000.

Tonight’s sale eclipsed the total for any previous auction dedicated to a single artist. Previous sales dedicated to a single artist included:

- The Collection of Stanley J. Seeger at Sotheby’s in 1993: 88 works by Pablo Picasso were offered and the sale realised $32/£21 million.

- The Man Ray Sale at Sotheby’s in 1995: 599 works were offered and the sale realised £4 million ($6.3 million).

Today's News

September 17, 2008

Sotheby's Ground-Breaking Two-Day Auction of New Works by Damien Hirst Realises $200 M

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