The Exceptional Sale evening auction realised £31,048,500/$53,186,081/€38,934,819, marking the highest total for any various-owner sale of classical decorative arts and breaking the previous record established by Christie’s Exceptional Sale in 2011 at £28.7million. The top price was paid for Sekhemka, an exceptional Egyptian painted limestone statue dating to the Old Kingdom, Late Dynasty 5, circa 2400–2300 B.C., probably from Saqqara in Lower Egypt, which realised £15,762,500/$27,001,163/€19,766,175 (estimate: £4,000,000-6,000,000) setting a world record price at auction for an ancient Egyptian work of art.
Robert Copley, Deputy Chairman Christie’s UK, International Head of Furniture: ‘The solid results witnessed in the Exceptional Sale 2014 mark the highest total for any various-owner sale of classical decorative arts, previously established by the Exceptional Sale in 2011 at Christie’s London which realised £28.7million. The finest and rarest examples achieved exceptional prices as increasingly multi-national bidders competed for works of exceptional quality. Several records were set including Giambologna’s ‘The Rape of A Sabine’, which realised£3.6 million, surpassing the previous record for the artist set by this work when it last came to the market at Christie’s 25 years ago. Following the inaugural Exceptional auction in 2008, these results build on Christie’s success with this pioneering sales platform. It continues to demonstrate the enduring appeal of individual masterpieces, which were highly admired over the past few weeks while they have been exhibited alongside highlights of the Old Master, Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary art in London.’