List of most expensive sculptures

Last updated

This is a list of the highest known prices paid for sculptures .


Most valuable sculpture

Alberto Giacometti's L'Homme au doigt was auctioned for $141.3m at Christie's in May 2015, the highest price for any sculpture at auction.

Giacometti's L'Homme qui marche I had previously achieved the highest price of any sculpture when it was auctioned by Sotheby's in February 2010. Selling for US$104.3 million, it ranks amongst the most valuable works of art. [1]

In 2005, Constantin Brâncuși's Bird in Space broke records when it sold for $27.5 million, the previous world record was another work by Constantin Brâncuși called Danaide, which was sold for $18.1m in May 2002. [2] The 2005 record stood for two years until a highly regarded work of antiquity surpassed the price. Artemis and the Stag , found in the 1920s at a Roman construction site, fetched $28.6 million in June 2007. [3] The record would only stand for a few months, with a work by Pablo Picasso, Tete de femme (Dora Maar) , surpassing it by half a million US dollars in November 2007. [4]

In December 2007, the sale of the Guennol Lioness, a statue from around 3000 BC, nearly doubled the previous record price when it sold for $57.2 million. It is the fifth-most valuable sculpture to date (2018) and the most valuable piece from antiquity. [5]

Damien Hirst has claimed that his sculpture For the Love of God , which consists of a platinum cast of a human skull encrusted with 8,601 flawless diamonds, was sold for £50 million (around US$75 million) in August 2007. The truth of this private sale, which was to an unknown consortium, has been called into question. David Lee, editor of The Jackdaw, commented: "Everyone in the art world knows Hirst hasn't sold the skull. It is clearly just an elaborate ruse to drum up publicity and rewrite the book value of all his other work." If the sale did take place, For the Love of God would become the second-most expensive sculpture ever sold and would have fetched the highest price for a sculpture by a living artist. [6] [7]

2010 was a good year for record-breaking sculpture prices but it did not continue into 2011. Jeff Koons' porcelain Pink Panther was estimated to fetch a value of up to $30 million, but only achieved just over half that. [8]

Louise Bourgeois holds the record ($28.2 million in 2015) for the highest price paid for an attributable sculpture by a woman, as it can not be proven who produced the Guennol Lioness. [9]

Auction details

All the most expensive sculptures have been sold by one of two auction houses: Sotheby's and Christie's. Sotheby's has hosted the auctions of the two works that reached the highest price, one in London and the other in New York. Only three of the top ten have auctioned outside of New York; one in London and two in Paris.

The top ten highest value sculptures were made by seven different people, two of whom are unknown and will never be identified. An Alberto Giacometti sculpture is the most valuable modern work, and he has three more entries in the top ten. Four Constantin Brâncuși sculptures are featured on the list. [10] Jeff Koons twice on the list. Although Pablo Picasso only appears once, he appears numerous times in the list of most expensive paintings.

Several buyers have chosen to remain anonymous, while others publicly celebrate their purchases.

Most expensive attributable sculpture by a female artist

List of highest prices paid

The highest prices paid for sculptures as of November 2014: [10] [11]

Adjusted price (in millions US)Original price (in millions US)SculptureImageArtistYearDate of saleSellerBuyerAuction houseRefs
$149.4$141.3 L'Homme au doigt Alberto Giacometti 194711 May 2015 Sheldon Solow Private collection Christie's, New York [12]
$119.8$104.3 L'Homme qui marche I Alberto Giacometti 19613 February 2010 Commerzbank Lily Safra Sotheby's, London [1]
$106.9$101.0Chariot Alberto Giacometti 19504 November 2014 Steven A. Cohen Sotheby's, New York [13]
$71$71La jeune fille sophistiquée (Portrait de Nancy Cunard) Constantin Brâncuși 1928-


15 May 2018Elizabeth StaffordPrivate


Christie's, New York [14]
$68.4$59.5 Tête Amedeo Modigliani 1910–191214 June 2010Gaston LevyPrivate collection Christie's, Paris [15] [16]
$62.8$58.4Balloon Dog (Orange) [note 1] Jeff Koons 1994–200012 November 2013Private collectionPrivate collection Christie's, New York [17]
$58$57.3La muse endormie Constantin Brâncuși 191315 may 2017Jacques UlmannPrivate


Christie's, New York [18]
$69.1$57.2 Guennol Lioness Unknown c.3000 BC5 December 2007Alastair Bradley MartinPrivate collection Sotheby's, New York [5]
$61.2$53.3 Grande tête mince Alberto Giacometti 19554 May 2010Sidney F. BrodyPrivate collection Christie's, New York [19]
$53.8$50.0 Grand tête mince (Grand tête de Diego) Alberto Giacometti 19556 November 2013Private collection Bill Acquavella Sotheby's, New York [20] [21]
$56.1$48.8Nu de dos, 4 état (Back IV) Henri Matisse 19583 November 2010Private collectionPrivate collection Christie's, New York [22]
$43.9$37.6Madame LR (Portrait de Mme LR) Constantin Brâncuși 1914–1724 February 2009 Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé Private collection Christie's, Paris [23]
$36.8$33.7Tulips Jeff Koons 1995-200414 November 2012 Christie's, New York
$32.8$31 Winged Genius Unknownc. 883 - 859 B.C.31 October 2018 Virginia Theological Seminary Private collection Christie's, New York [24]
$32.8$30.1 Reclining Figure: Festival Henry Moore 19517 February 2012Private collectionPrivate collection Christie's, London [4]
$35.2$29.1 Tete de femme (Dora Maar) Pablo Picasso 19417 November 2007Private collectionFranck Giraud Sotheby's, New York [4]
$34.6$28.6 Artemis and the Stag Unknown c.100 BC – 100 AD7 June 2007 Albright-Knox Art Gallery Private collection Sotheby's, New York [3]
$29.1$28.2Spider Louise Bourgeois 199610 November 2015Christie's, New York [25]
$35.3$27.5 Bird in Space Constantin Brâncuși 1922–19235 May 2005Private collectionPrivate collection Christie's, New York [2]

See also


  1. Most expensive sculpture by a living artist


  1. 1 2 Giacometti Sculpture 'L'Homme qui marche I' Fetches $104.3 Million, World Record: Sotheby's (PHOTO). The Huffington Post . 5 April 2010. Accessed 20 October 2011.
  2. 1 2 Sculpture breaks auction record. BBC News. 5 May 2005. Accessed 20 October 2011.
  3. 1 2 West, Nina P. Artemis At The Top., Forbes. 19 June 2007. Accessed 20 October 2011.
  4. 1 2 3 Crow, Kelly. Sotheby's "Aggressive" Sale Falls Flat. The Wall Street Journal . 8 November 2007. Accessed 20 October 2011.
  5. 1 2 Lion sculpture gets record price. BBC News. 6 December 2007. Accessed 20 October 2011.
  6. Owen, Glen. Dunbar, Polly. Did Damien Hirst really sell diamond skull for £50m?. The Daily Mail . 9 September 2007. Accessed 21 October 2011.
  7. Connet, David. The mystery of the £50m skull: Is Hirst's record sale all it seems?. The Independent . 2 September 2007. Accessed 21 October 2011.
  8. 2011 Auction Round-Up: Who's on Top and Who Flopped (PHOTOS, VIDEO). The Huffington Post . 13 August 2011. Accessed 5 November 2011.
  9. "The Most Expensive Female Artists 2016 - artnet News". artnet News. 2016-05-24. Retrieved 2017-11-17.
  10. 1 2 Fernández, G. Most Expensive Sculptures Ever Sold. November 2010. Accessed 19 October 2011.
  11. Most Expensive Sculpture In The World Archived 2012-04-24 at the Wayback Machine .. Accessed 4 November 2011.
  12. or empty |title= (help)
  13. or empty |title= (help)
  14. "Constantin Brancusi's La jeune fille sophistiquée ( Portrait de Nancy Cunard) | Christie's". Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  15. Reyburn, Scott. Modigliani Sculpture Fetches 43.2 Million Euros, French Record. Bloomberg . 14 June 2010. Accessed 19 October 2011.
  16. Gallery Talk: Amedeo Modigliani’s Tête. Christie's. 7 June 2010. Accessed 19 October 2011.
  17. Abramovitch, Seth. Jeff Koons' Balloon Dog Sculpture Sells for Record-Breaking $58.4 Million. The Hollywood Reporter . 12 November 2013. Accessed 12 November 2013.
  18. "Brancusi sells for a record $57.3 million as New York sales get off to 'fantastic start' | Christie's". Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  19. Grande tête mince. Christie's. Accessed 20 October 2011.
  20. Crow, Kelly. Sotheby's Strong Sale Anchored by $50 Million Giacometti Bronze. The Wall Street Journal . 7 November 2013. Accessed 7 November 2013.
  21. Impressionist and Modern Art Sale's Triumphant Results. Sotheby's. 6 November 2012. Accessed 7 November 2013.
  22. In the Saleroom: Henri Matisse's Nu de dos, 4 état (Back IV). Christie's. 4 November 2010. Accessed 20 October 2011.
  23. Madame L.R. (Portrait de Mme L.R.). Christie's. Accessed 20 October 2011.
  25. "Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) , Spider" . Retrieved 2017-11-17.