Christie's auction house has best year in 245-year history

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Christie's has announced record sales for 2010 after the auction house enjoyed the best 12 months in its 245-year history.

Total sales rose more than 50pc to hit £3.3bn last year, as the company retained its position as the world’s largest auction house.

Christie's was involved in two-thirds of global artwork sales worth more than $50m (£32m).

Works sold over the course of 2010 included Pablo Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, which sold for an auction world record £70.3m, as well as the £35.2m sale of Alberto Giacometti’s Grande tête mince, both of which were sold on the same day last May.

Impressionist and modern art sales was Christie’s most successful market, with sales totalling £767m, followed by post-war and contemporary art sales of £603m.

Europe and the US were responsible for the lion’s share of sales, but growth was fastest in the company’s Asian business, with sales more than doubling to £499m....

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