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Top 5 auction flops

Failed to sell your work for $50 million? Don't worry, you're not alone.

By David Smith | 08 Feb 2013


Despite selling for a record breaking $80,451,178 at the same Christies site just three years earlier. Claude Monet's Nympheas failed to sell at it's estimated £17-24 million making it one of the art worlds biggest auction flops. 
At the Post-War Contemporary evening sale at Christies Francis Bacon's much lauded "Study of a Man Talking" failed to sell anywhere near it's huge estimate of $12-18 Million. It was later sold at Christies Hong Kong. 
Recently Sotheby's was sued by greek shipping tycoon Diamantis Diamantides on the grounds that they convinced him to buy two forgeries. One of which set a record price in 2007. The court ruled that the Parthenis paintings were indeed forgeries, ordering Sotheby's to pay Diamantides £950,000. 
Damien Hirst's "For The Love of God", was said by Hirst to have sold for £50 million in August 2007. After some digging it turned out the consortium who purchased the piece included Hirst himself. A third of the piece was sold to an 'investment group' for an unknown amount.  Read more about this mysterious sale here. 
Picasso's Femme Endormie, estimated to sell for $12-18 million at Christies New York, failed to sell at all. Another 8 Picasso lots all estimated between $1-18 million all failed at this auction. Marking one of the worse nights for Picasso sales recorded. 
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