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Top 5 Most Surprising Auction Moments

This weeks top 5 features 5 of the most surprising art auction moments of the recent years.

By David Smith | 20 Jul 2012

In this weeks Top 5 we look at some of the most suprising artist auctions results and our team dares to think about what it would be like to be on the selling end of these transactions.

Harry Potter's Magic Notebook

On 15 December 2007, Sotheby's London auctioned a limited edition copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, written by J.K. Rowling. Although expected to make around $ 98,350, the book was purchased for a hammer price of $ 3,835,980 by London fine art dealers Hazlitt, Gooden and Fox on behalf of The novel, which contains children's stories and mentioned in the Harry Potter novel series. J.K. Rowling finished the actual story in late 2007. Each leather bound copy was hand written and illustrated by J.K. Rowling.

Lucky Lotus Leaves

May 31st 2011, Christie's Hong Kong - Zhang Daqian's "Lotus" (pictured above) sold at 708% above it's high estimate. Estimated at between $HK6,000,000 million it actually sold at a whopping HK$56,660,000 (around $7,285,000USD) to an anonymous Chinese buyer. 

The Card Player Delivers

Earlier this year the Royal Family of Qatar paid a record breaking $250 million USD for one of Cezanne's legendary "The Card Players", making this the highist price paid for a single piece of art in the world. If you want to learn more check out this fantastic article about the buyers and the painting itself over at Vanity Fair.  

Pollock Delivers the News

Jackson Pollocks 'No.5, 1948' was sold at a private sale via Sotheby's in 2006 for $160,000,000USD. It was originally owned by Samuel Irving Newhouse, Jr. and displayed at the Museum of Modern Art before being sold to David Geffen and then allegedly to David Martinez in 2006. It is speculated that Geffen sold the painting, along with two others, to raise enough funds to bid for the Los Angeles Times. 

Cleopatra meets Millions

The Meeting of Antony and Cleopatra: 41 BC by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, estimated at $3-5 million sold at a staggering 584% above the high estimate for $29,202,500 at Sotherby's New York. 

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