This month, Christie’s in New York sold the Salvator Mundi painting of Christ by Leonardo da Vinci for $400m. After the auction premium fees are added, the buyer was charged a total of $450.3m – equivalent to £339.7m.
The sale is the highest value antique item ever sold at an auction, beating the previous record of $179.4m paid for the Pablo Picasso 1955 painting Woman of Algiers. The record amount for a private sale is claimed to be a $300m Paul Gauguin painting.
Jussi Pylkkänen, the Christie’s auctioneer, described his feelings of selling the Salvator Mundi:
“It’s the zenith of my career as an auctioneer. There’ll never be another painting that I shall sell for more than this painting tonight.”
Christie’s said the painting was “the biggest discovery of the 21st Century”. The Salvator Mundi was painted around 1500 and was auctioned by Sotheby’s for $50m in 2013. Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian oligarch who put the painting for sale at Christie’s, acquired the painting for $127m.
The painting is the only Leonardo da Vinci one in private hands, although the buyer remains anonymous.
Fortunately, to buy antique furniture in Lancashire-based shops, you do not need to be a multimillionaire. Fine examples of antique desks, dining tables and wardrobes can be purchased on modest budgets. They may not appreciate in time by millions of dollars like famous paintings, but they can beautify the look of a room for many years to come.
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