Here are the top 10 tables the most expensive sold at auction

17 November, 2017, 01:40 | Author: Greg Santos
  • President Jussi Pylkkanen is selling Leonardo da Vincis Salvator Mundi painting for $450,312,500 at Christies Nov. 15 2017 in New York City

One of the first owners painting, created sometime after 1505, was King Charles I of England. The auction house hosted public viewings of the painting for more than 27,000 people in cities around the world before the sale.

The work was accepted as an authentic da Vinci when it was included in a 2011 exhibition of the artist's works at London's National Gallery, and two years later it was sold to the billionaire Russian oligarch painting Dmitry Rybolovlev for US$127.5 million ($AU168m).

Sold at Sotheby's to an American collector in 1958 for only £45 - or S$81 in today's value - it sold again in 2005 as an overpainted copy of the masterwork.

Leonardo da Vinci's painting, "Salvator Mundi", Latin for "Savior of the World", crushed the all-time auction high selling price when it went for $450 million on Wednesday, Nov. 15.

The sale far surpassed previous world records, including Pablo Picasso's "Women of Algiers" that fetched $179.4 million at Christie's in NY in May 2015. He holds a crystal orb in his left hand as he raises his right hand in benediction.

The value of private sales are rarely known, but a Willem de Kooning and a Gauguin were previously thought the most expensive, sold in 2015 separately for $300 million each, according to United States media reports.

Carl Court  Getty Images
Carl Court Getty Images

Scholars believe the Leonardo painting is one of few works by Leonardo to survive the centuries since his death and the only one in private hands.

On Wednesday evening, an anonymous collector dialed in to a spacious room inside Rockefeller Center in New York City and instructed the person on the other end of the line to spend almost half a billion dollars for a 25.8-inch by 17.9-inch oil painting of Jesus Christ.

A staff member poses with a painting by Leonardo da Vinci entitled "Salvator Mundi" in London on October 24, 2017, before it is auctioned in NY.

"We toured Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi around the world, and at every stop crowds of people were drawn to this painting, wanting to stand in front of the picture and experience it in person", Gouzer said after the sale.

Alex Rotter, Christie's co-chairman, was the man who set the winning bid for the client on the phone. It was discovered in 2005 and underwent heavy restoration, according to the New York Times. The painting is expected to sell at auction for $100 million on Wednesday.

The work was exhibited at The National Gallery in London in 2011, after years of research trying to document its authenticity after it was found, mistaken for a copy, in a USA auction in 2005. "Long known to have existed, and long sought after, it seemed just a tantalizingly unobtainable dream until now", Wintermute said.

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