Here Are the 15 Most Expensive Artworks Sold at Auction Around the World in September 2021

Two of the top 15 most expensive works came from the NFT-verse.

Yuga Labs LLC, 101 Bored Ape Yacht Club (est. 2021). Courtesy of Sotheby's.
Yuga Labs LLC, 101 Bored Ape Yacht Club (est. 2021). Courtesy of Sotheby's.

The auction world returned from summer vacation with a bang last month when Sotheby’s sold 101 apes from Yuga Labs’s Bored Ape Yacht Club for a heart-stopping $24.4 million (yes, we’re talking about NFTs again).

The sale not only set a new single-event crypto-art record for the auction house, but also signaled that NFTs are here to stay, at least for a little while longer—even if the apes themselves seem pretty blasé about the whole thing. (If you have no idea what we’re talking about, check out our Bored Apes backgrounder here.)

The rest of the month’s top prices were for good old fashioned physical artworks, with a smattering of always-popular Les Lalanne decorative objects stirring up healthy demand at Christie’s Paris.

The Big Three auction houses weren’t the only ones that offloaded top lots. Galerie Kornfeld’s marquee sale series, usually held in June but rescheduled due to COVID, achieved the highest total in its 157-year history, netting CHF 72 million (about $78 million). The “white-glove” sale at the Bern house saw 10 works exceed the CHF 1 million threshold, including those by Paul Cézanne, Robert Delaunay, and Sam Francis.

Below, we’ve culled the Artnet Price Database to bring you the full list of the top 15 auction sales in September.

 

Yuga Labs LLC, 101 Bored Ape Yacht Club (est. 2021)

101 Bored Apes Yacht Club. Courtesy of Sotheby's.

101 Bored Apes Yacht Club. Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Final Price: $24.4 million

Estimate: $12 million to $18 million

Where & When: Sotheby’s New York, September 9, 2021

 

Luo Zhongli, Spring Silkworms (1980)

Luo Zhongli, <i>Spring Silkworms</i> (1980). Courtesy of Poly Auction International, Ltd.

Luo Zhongli, Spring Silkworms (1980). Courtesy of Poly Auction International, Ltd.

Final Price: 41.7 million CNY ($6.5 million)

Estimate: 40 to 50 million CNY ($6.2 million to $7.7 million)

Where & When: Poly International Auction Co. Ltd., Beijing, September 25, 2021

 

Claude Lalanne, Lustre ‘Structure Végétale’ aux Papillons à seize bougies (2003)

Claude Lalanne, <i>Lustre 'Structure Végétale' aux Papillons à seize bougies</i> (2003). Courtesy of Christie's Images, Ltd.

Claude Lalanne, Lustre ‘Structure Végétale’ aux Papillons à seize bougies (2003). Courtesy of Christie’s Images, Ltd.

Final Price: €3.7 million ($4.4 million)

Estimate: €800,000 to €1.2 million ($946,000 to $1.4 million)

Where & When: Christie’s Paris, September 14, 2021

 

Frank Stella, Scramble: Green Double/ Left N, Right 8 (1977)

Frank Stella, <i>Scramble: Green Double/ Left N, Right 8 </i>(1977). Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Frank Stella, Scramble: Green Double/ Left N, Right 8 (1977). Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Final Price: $4.3 million

Estimate: $3.5 million to $5.5 million

Where & When: Sotheby’s New York, September 30, 2021

 

Robert Delaunay, Nature morte portugaise (1916)

Robert Delaunay, <i>Nature morte portugaise </i>(1916). Courtesy of Galerie Kornfeld.

Robert Delaunay, Nature morte portugaise (1916). Courtesy of Galerie Kornfeld.

Final Price: 3 million CHF ($3.2 million)

Estimate: 2.5 million CHF ($2.7 million)

Where & When: Galerie Kornfeld, Bern, September 17, 2021

 

Paul Cézanne, Pot à gingembre avec fruits et nappe (1888–90)

Paul Cézanne, <i>Pot à gingembre avec fruits et nappe</i> (1888-1890). Courtesy of Galerie Kornfeld.

Paul Cézanne, Pot à gingembre avec fruits et nappe (1888-1890). Courtesy of Galerie Kornfeld.

Final Price: 3 million CHF ($3.2 million)

Estimate: 1.25 million CHF ($1.3 million)

Where & When: Galerie Kornfeld, Bern, September 17, 2021

 

François-Xavier Lalanne, Singe Attentif II (1999)

François-Xavier Lalanne, <i>Singe Attentif II</i> (1999). Courtesy of Christie's Images, Ltd.

François-Xavier Lalanne, Singe Attentif II (1999). Courtesy of Christie’s Images, Ltd.

Final Price: €2.1 million ($2.5 million)

Estimate: €300,000 to €500,000 ($355,000 to $591,000)

Where & When: Christie’s Paris, September 14, 2021

 

Sam Francis, Green (1952)

Sam Francis, <i>Green</i> (1952). Courtesy of Galerie Kornfeld.

Sam Francis, Green (1952). Courtesy of Galerie Kornfeld.

Final Price: 2 million CHF ($2.1 million)

Estimate: 2 million CHF ($2.1 million)

Where & When: Galerie Kornfeld, Bern, September 17, 2021

 

Alberto Giacometti, Buste d’Homme (New York II) (1965)

Alberto Giacometti, <i>Buste d'Homme (New York II) </i>(1965). Courtesy of Galerie Kornfeld.

Alberto Giacometti, Buste d’Homme (New York II) (1965). Courtesy of Galerie Kornfeld.

Final Price: 1.7 million CHF ($1.8 million)

Estimate: 1.5 million CHF ($1.6 million)

Where & When: Galerie Kornfeld, Bern, September 17, 2021

 

Alexej von Jawlensky, Stillleben mit gelber und weisser Kanne (1908)

Alexej von Jawlensky, <i>Stillleben mit gelber und weisser Kanne</i> (1908). Courtesy of Galerie Kornfeld.

Alexej von Jawlensky, Stillleben mit gelber und weisser Kanne (1908). Courtesy of Galerie Kornfeld.

Final Price: 1.65 million CHF ($1.8 million)

Estimate: 1 million CHF ($1.1 million)

Where & When: Galerie Kornfeld, Bern, September 17, 2021

 

Georges Braque, Verre et Bouteille (FOURRURES) (ca. 1913–14)

Georges Braque, <i>Verre et Bouteille (FOURRURES)</i> (ca. 1913-14). Courtesy of Galerie Kornfeld.

Georges Braque, Verre et Bouteille (FOURRURES) (ca. 1913-14). Courtesy of Galerie Kornfeld.

Final Price: 1.5 million CHF ($1.6 milion)

Estimate: 1.6 million CHF ($1.7 million)

Where & When: Galerie Kornfeld, Bern, September 17, 2021

 

Marc Chagall, La fête au village (ca. 1980–82)

Marc Chagall, <i>La fête au village</i> (ca. 1980-82). Courtesy of Galerie Kornfeld.

Marc Chagall, La fête au village (ca. 1980–82). Courtesy of Galerie Kornfeld.

Final Price: 1.5 million CHF ($1.6 million)

Estimate: 800,000 CHF ($859,383)

Where & When: Galerie Kornfeld, Bern, September 17, 2021

 

Yuga Labs LLC, 101 Bored Ape Kennel Club 

A collage of the Bored Apes Kennel Club NFT's that sold this week. Courtesy of Sotheby's.

A collage of Bored Ape Kennel Club NFTs. Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Final Price: $1.83 million

Estimate: $1.5 million to $2 million

Where & When: Sotheby’s New York, September 9, 2021

 

Cuno Amiet, Winterlandschaft (1903)

Cuno Amiet, <i>Winterlandschaft</i> (1903). Courtesy of Galerie Kornfeld.

Cuno Amiet, Winterlandschaft (1903). Courtesy of Galerie Kornfeld.

Final Price: 1.4 million CHF ($1.5 million)

Estimate: 500,000 CHF ($537,115)

Where & When: Galerie Kornfeld, Bern, September 17, 2021

 

Jehangir Sabavala, The Embarkation (1965)

Jehangir Sabavala, The Embarkation (1965). Photo courtesy of Christie’s Images Ltd.

Final Price: $1.6 million

Estimate: $300,000 to $500,000

Where & When: Christie’s New York, September 22, 2021


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