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Rockefeller ‘Premium’ Draws Billionaires to $646 Million Auction

  • Picasso sells for $115 million; Monet fetches $84.7 million
  • Seven artist auction records were establised at Christie’s
"Odalisque couchee aux magnolias" by Henri Matisse.
"Odalisque couchee aux magnolias" by Henri Matisse.Photographer: Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images
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Billionaires from around the world fought for a chance to own Peggy and David Rockefeller’s art trophies, sending paintings by Henri Matisse and Claude Monet to record prices at Christie’s in New York on Tuesday.

The evening sale of 44 lots of 19th and 20th century art from the collection tallied $646.1 million, surpassing the low estimate of $484 million. Every lot sold. Five more live auctions from the estate will take place this week as well as an online sale that runs through May 11, offering more than 1,500 items, including porcelain, silver and furniture. The estate’s proceeds will benefit 12 institutions selected by the Rockefellers.