On Tuesday night, a painting dashed off by Picasso in just one day in 1964 became the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction as it rose to $106.5 million. It took Christopher Burge, Christie’s premier auctioneer, eight long minutes to raise the picture, dubbed “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust,” above the hitherto unattainable $100 million barrier. Mr. Burge opened the bidding by calling out $58 million and raised the stakes by $1 million increments. From $77 million, four new bidders, sitting in the room or operating over the phone, jumped into the fray. From $86 million on, the contest was confined to two telephone bidders. They fought it out until Mr. Burge brought down his hammer on a $95 million bid made under the paddle number 1709, which, with the sale charge, raised the full price to $106.48 million, to be precise. – From NY Times
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.