Sotheby’s February 2011 Contemporary Art Evening Auction Realises $71,051,252

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LONDON.- Tonight, Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening sale realised £44,359,900 /$71,051,252 /€52,965,613 – above the high estimate (£30.4-£43 million/$48.7-$68.9 million**). With ‘Looking Closely’, this sum brings the total for Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Auction Series so far this Season to £88,022,550 /$138,728,359 /€104,465,529 (est. £56-78 million) – well above combined pre-sale expectations – representing the second-highest total for a February Contemporary Art Sales Series in London and the highest total for a Contemporary Art Sales Series in London since July 2008. More than 200 clients from all corners of the globe registered to bid from the telephones and in the standing-room-only saleroom. Enthusiastic bidding for the first lot of the sale, Ai Weiwei’s hotly contested Sunflower Seeds, set the pace of the auction which went on to establish sell-through rates of 91.5% by lot