Carrying an unofficial estimate in the region of £65-million, the Klimt, Dame mit Fächer (Lady with a Fan), was executed in 1917-1918 and carried an irrevocable bid, meaning a third party had guaranteed in advance to purchase the work for a predetermined sum. Thus, it was widely understood to be a record-setting work well in advance of the sale.
Nevertheless, 10 minutes of serious bidding pushed the piece well beyond its estimate. In reaching this final sum, the painting also set a record for Klimt at auction. The late artist’s global public record was previously set last November, when the estate of Paul Allen sold Klimt’s Birch Forest for $104.6-million.
Tuesday nights’ Klimt last appeared at auction in 1994, when it was purchased for $11.6-million at Sotheby’s in New York, meaning in the interim it has appreciated by roughly 834%.