Avalanche of records at auction



A massive 6,130 artists have set new records at auction in the 2006 spring/summer season alone. And no fewer than 102 have broken the million dollar barrier this year.

Download the list of the 100 top records of the season

The biggest record sale this season was for a view of Venice by Joseph Mallord William TURNER, knocked down for USD 32 million on 6 April 2006 at Christie’s. The master English landscapist repeated the feat in June with a record for a watercolour of GBP 5.2 million (USD 9.8 million) paid for the luminous Blue Rigi, Lake of Lucerne, Sunrise. Turner’s overall index has doubled in ten years.London has seen a swathe of record sales this year. Of the 102 record prices to exceed a million dollars, 48 were at UK auctions. The artists commanding the biggest bids were modern masters such as Egon SCHIELE (GBP 10.5 million), Chaïm SOUTINE (GBP 7 million) and Edvard MUNCH (GBP 5.5 million).In Switzerland, the highest record was for Ferdinand HODLER whose Am Genfersee (Landschaftlicher Formenrhythmus), dated circa 1908, reached CHF 4.4 million at Sotheby’s Zurich on 31 May. In Hong Kong, the top price was for a SAN Yu: HKD 25 million for Pink Lotus, once again at Sotheby’s. And it was the same auctioneer, this time in France, that sold a Pierre SOULAGES for EUR 1.06 million on 6 July.