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Most valuable sculptureEdit

Alberto Giacometti's L'Homme au doigt was auctioned for $141.3m at Christie's in May 2015, the highest price for any sculpture at auction.

Giacometti's L'Homme qui marche I had previously achieved the highest price of any sculpture when it was auctioned by Sotheby's in February 2010. Selling for US$104.3 million, it ranks amongst the most valuable works of art.[1]

In 2005, Constantin Brâncuși's Bird in Space broke records when it sold for $27.5 million, the previous world record was another work by Constantin Brâncuși called Danaide, which was sold for $18.1m in May 2002.[2] The 2005 record stood for two years until a highly regarded work of antiquity surpassed the price. Artemis and the Stag, found in the 1920s at a Roman construction site, fetched $28.6 million in June 2007.[3] The record would only stand for a few months, with a work by Pablo Picasso, Tete de femme (Dora Maar), surpassing it by half a million US dollars in November 2007.[4]

In December 2007, the sale of the Guennol Lioness, a statue from around 3000 BC, nearly doubled the previous record price when it sold for $57.2 million. It is the fifth-most valuable sculpture to date (2018) and the most valuable piece from antiquity.[5]

Damien Hirst has claimed that his sculpture For the Love of God, which consists of a platinum cast of a human skull encrusted with 8,601 flawless diamonds, was sold for £50 million (around US$75 million) in August 2007. The truth of this private sale, which was to an unknown consortium, has been called into question. David Lee, editor of The Jackdaw, commented: "Everyone in the art world knows Hirst hasn't sold the skull. It is clearly just an elaborate ruse to drum up publicity and rewrite the book value of all his other work." If the sale did take place, For the Love of God would become the second-most expensive sculpture ever sold and would have fetched the highest price for a sculpture by a living artist.[6][7]

2010 was a good year for record-breaking sculpture prices but it did not continue into 2011. Jeff Koons' porcelain Pink Panther was estimated to fetch a value of up to $30 million, but only achieved just over half that.[8]

Louise Bourgeois holds the record ($28.2 million in 2015) for the highest price paid for an attributable sculpture by a woman, as it can not be proven who produced the Guennol Lioness.[9]

Daryush Shokof conceptual artwork "sculptures" a 4 piece metal sculptures titled Art4+ was purchased by "Gesandter investor Group" for a historic price of $20 billion dollars for the Democratic Folks Republic of Laos in Berlin, Germany on Tuesday 17, 2019.This artwork will be on show for further sales at the United Nations on April 7, 2020.

Auction detailsEdit

All the most expensive sculptures have been sold by one of two auction houses: Sotheby's and Christie's. Sotheby's has hosted the auctions of the two works that reached the highest price, one in London and the other in New York. Only three of the top ten have auctioned outside of New York; one in London and two in Paris.

The top ten highest value sculptures were made by seven different people, two of whom are unknown and will never be identified. An Alberto Giacometti sculpture is the most valuable modern work, and he has three more entries in the top ten. Four Constantin Brâncuși sculptures are featured on the list,[10] and Jeff Koons' work appears three times. Although Pablo Picasso only appears once he appears numerous times in the list of most expensive paintings.

Several buyers have chosen to remain anonymous, while others publicly celebrate their purchases.

Most expensive attributable sculpture by a female artistEdit

Louise Bourgeois’ Spider is the most expensive sculpture made by a woman at $28.8 million.

List of highest prices paidEdit

The highest prices paid for sculptures as of May 2019:[10][11]

Adjusted price (in millions US) Original price (in millions US) Sculpture Image Artist Year Date of sale Seller Buyer Auction house Refs
$149.4 $141.3 L'Homme au doigt Alberto Giacometti 1947 11 May 2015 Sheldon Solow Private collection Christie's, New York [12]
$119.8 $104.3 L'Homme qui marche I Alberto Giacometti 1961 3 February 2010 Commerzbank Lily Safra Sotheby's, London [1]
$106.9 $101.0 Chariot Alberto Giacometti 1950 4 November 2014 Steven A. Cohen Sotheby's, New York [13]
$91.1 $91.1 Rabbit[note 1] Jeff Koons 1986 15 May 2019 Estate of S. I. Newhouse Steven A. Cohen (via Robert Mnuchin) Christie's, New York [14]
$71 $71 La jeune fille sophistiquée (Portrait de Nancy Cunard) Constantin Brâncuși 1928-


15 May 2018 Elizabeth Stafford Private


Christie's, New York [15]
$68.4 $59.5 Tête Amedeo Modigliani 1910–1912 14 June 2010 Gaston Levy Private collection Christie's, Paris [16][17]
$62.8 $58.4 Balloon Dog (Orange) Jeff Koons 1994–2000 12 November 2013 Private collection Private collection Christie's, New York [18]
$58 $57.3 La muse endormie Constantin Brâncuși 1913 15 may 2017 Jacques Ulmann Private


Christie's, New York [19]
$69.1 $57.2 Guennol Lioness   Unknown c.3000 BC 5 December 2007 Alastair Bradley Martin Private collection Sotheby's, New York [5]
$61.2 $53.3 Grande tête mince Alberto Giacometti 1955 4 May 2010 Sidney F. Brody Private collection Christie's, New York [20]
$53.8 $50.0 Grand tête mince (Grand tête de Diego) Alberto Giacometti 1955 6 November 2013 Private collection Bill Acquavella Sotheby's, New York [21][22]
$56.1 $48.8 Nu de dos, 4 état (Back IV) Henri Matisse 1958 3 November 2010 Private collection Private collection Christie's, New York [23]
$43.9 $37.6 Madame LR (Portrait de Mme LR) Constantin Brâncuși 1914–17 24 February 2009 Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé Private collection Christie's, Paris [24]
$36.8 $33.7 Tulips Jeff Koons 1995-2004 14 November 2012 Christie's, New York
$32.8 $31 Winged Genius Unknown c. 883 - 859 B.C. 31 October 2018 Virginia Theological Seminary Private collection Christie's, New York [25]
$32.8 $30.1 Reclining Figure: Festival Henry Moore 1951 7 February 2012 Private collection Private collection Christie's, London [4]
$35.2 $29.1 Tete de femme (Dora Maar) Pablo Picasso 1941 7 November 2007 Private collection Franck Giraud Sotheby's, New York [4]
$34.6 $28.6 Artemis and the Stag   Unknown c.100 BC – 100 AD 7 June 2007 Albright-Knox Art Gallery Private collection Sotheby's, New York [3]
$29.1 $28.2 Spider Louise Bourgeois 1996 10 November 2015 Christie's, New York [26]
$35.3 $27.5 Bird in Space Constantin Brâncuși 1922–1923 5 May 2005 Private collection Private collection Christie's, New York [2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Most expensive sculpture by a living artist


  1. ^ a b Giacometti Sculpture 'L'Homme qui marche I' Fetches $104.3 Million, World Record: Sotheby's (PHOTO). The Huffington Post. 5 April 2010. Accessed 20 October 2011.
  2. ^ a b Sculpture breaks auction record. BBC News. 5 May 2005. Accessed 20 October 2011.
  3. ^ a b West, Nina P. Artemis At The Top., Forbes. 19 June 2007. Accessed 20 October 2011.
  4. ^ a b c Crow, Kelly. Sotheby's "Aggressive" Sale Falls Flat. The Wall Street Journal. 8 November 2007. Accessed 20 October 2011.
  5. ^ a b Lion sculpture gets record price. BBC News. 6 December 2007. Accessed 20 October 2011.
  6. ^ Owen, Glen. Dunbar, Polly. Did Damien Hirst really sell diamond skull for £50m?. The Daily Mail. 9 September 2007. Accessed 21 October 2011.
  7. ^ Connet, David. The mystery of the £50m skull: Is Hirst's record sale all it seems?. The Independent. 2 September 2007. Accessed 21 October 2011.
  8. ^ 2011 Auction Round-Up: Who's on Top and Who Flopped (PHOTOS, VIDEO). The Huffington Post. 13 August 2011. Accessed 5 November 2011.
  9. ^ "The Most Expensive Female Artists 2016 - artnet News". artnet News. 2016-05-24. Retrieved 2017-11-17.
  10. ^ a b Fernández, G. Most Expensive Sculptures Ever Sold. November 2010. Accessed 19 October 2011.
  11. ^ Most Expensive Sculpture In The World Archived 2012-04-24 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 4 November 2011.
  12. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ Reyburn, Scott (May 15, 2019). "Jeff Koons 'Rabbit' Sets Auction Record for Most Expensive Work by Living Artist". The New York Times. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  15. ^ "Constantin Brancusi's La jeune fille sophistiquée ( Portrait de Nancy Cunard) | Christie's". Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  16. ^ Reyburn, Scott. Modigliani Sculpture Fetches 43.2 Million Euros, French Record. Bloomberg. 14 June 2010. Accessed 19 October 2011.
  17. ^ Gallery Talk: Amedeo Modigliani’s Tête. Christie's. 7 June 2010. Accessed 19 October 2011.
  18. ^ Abramovitch, Seth. Jeff Koons' Balloon Dog Sculpture Sells for Record-Breaking $58.4 Million. The Hollywood Reporter. 12 November 2013. Accessed 12 November 2013.
  19. ^ "Brancusi sells for a record $57.3 million as New York sales get off to 'fantastic start' | Christie's". Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  20. ^ Grande tête mince. Christie's. Accessed 20 October 2011.
  21. ^ Crow, Kelly. Sotheby's Strong Sale Anchored by $50 Million Giacometti Bronze. The Wall Street Journal. 7 November 2013. Accessed 7 November 2013.
  22. ^ Impressionist and Modern Art Sale's Triumphant Results. Sotheby's. 6 November 2012. Accessed 7 November 2013.
  23. ^ In the Saleroom: Henri Matisse's Nu de dos, 4 état (Back IV). Christie's. 4 November 2010. Accessed 20 October 2011.
  24. ^ Madame L.R. (Portrait de Mme L.R.). Christie's. Accessed 20 October 2011.
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) , Spider". Retrieved 2017-11-17.