Over the past 10 days, auction houses around the world have presided over bids totaling nearly $2 billion for art and jewelry, Sotheby's said. Christie's said Tuesday's sale brought in more than $691.5 million, the highest total for any single auction in history.
Buyers from Asia, the Middle East and Russia play a big role in the contemporary art market, said Richard Feigen, an art dealer and collector whose Manhattan gallery has works spanning from the 14th century to contemporary art.
"The demand for seminal works by historical important artists is truly unquestionable, and we will keep witnessing new records being broken," said Michael Frahm, a contemporary art adviser and partner at the London-based Frahm Ltd.
"This is the ultimate trophy hunting."