One of the most fervently awaited events in
art market history, Christie's November 8
Impressionist and Modern Art auction generated
figures totaling nearly half a billion dollars,
making it the most valuable sale in the
history of auctioning. Nine world records were
set, thanks to the boundless enthusiasm and
fevered bidding for masterpieces that had
never before appeared at auction. The storied
stars of the sale were unquestionably the four
Klimt paintings recently restituted to the heirs
of Adele and Ferdinand Bloch Bauer, including
the legendary Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II,
which sold for over $87 million, setting a
world record for the artist at auction. Though
the high bidder remains anonymous, experts
speculate that Neue Gallery owner Ronald S.
Lauder, who purchased Klimt's Adele Bloch-
Bauer I portrait privately for $135 million in
June, may have scooped up the masterpiece
with additional revenue from the three Egon
Schiele works that he consigned to the sale.

Christie's Impressionist and Modern Art
November 8, 2006