Seven bidders competed for a 1969 Francis Bacon triptych last night at the Christie’s auction in New York, raising the final sales prices to $142.4 million, the most any piece has ever sold for at auction. It topped the record set by Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” which sold for $119.9 at Sotheby’s in May 2012.

The bidding for Irish-born Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” lasted for a heart-pounding 10 minutes, and the audience “burst into applause” at the conclusion, according to the New York Times, which quoted New York art dealer Larry Gagosian as saying, “I went to $101 million but it hardly mattered.”

The total sales of the auction, which included 69 works, amounted to $691.5 million, the most a single art auction has ever fetched. Jeff Koons’s “Balloon Dog (Orange)” also set a record at $58.4 million, the most a living artist has ever sold for at auction.

And who says the economy is still limping along? Hmmm…


Tom, President of FACE, has specialized in fine art and collectibles insurance for over 20 years with firms such as Allen Insurance Associates, Kaye Fine Arts & Special Risks Group and Thomson and Pratt Insurance Associates. A California State University, Northridge (CSUN) alumnus with a degree in Theatre Arts, Tom has also studied Art History at Santa Monica College, UCLA and in Paris, France. Civic activities are important to Tom. He was elected President of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education (1998-2002) and was appointed to the Arts Commission for the City of Santa Monica (2003) as well as the Public Access Television Commission for Calaveras County (2011). He has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the following organizations: Dean’s Council for the School of Arts at CSUN, Social & Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) and the Rotary Club. Tom is a member of the organization California Lawyers for the Arts and also serves as an expert witness for art insurance related matters from time to time.