Sotheby’s Contemporary Evening sale had the two top lots for the week in the Warhol Self Portrait and the Rothko. But few doubted those works would sell well and since both artists had established much higher prices during the boom, the impact of those sales was muffled.
Both works out-sold their estimates. But the auction house had the luxury of setting them lower to attract bidders. That’s why the Warhol raced to the high estimate on the second bid. But other works absolutely demolished their estimates without making headlines.
Here are ten works from this week’s sales that blew out the high estimates. The least of them is the Richard Prince, which made 2 and 1/4 the high estimate (for reference, the Warhol came shy of doubling the high estimate.) The rest climb from there, including the Basquiat saxophone player being sold by the estate that was the subject of a fierce bidding battle between Larry Gagosian and an unidentified bidder a few seats away.