Here Are the 15 Most Expensive Artworks Sold at Auction Around the World in August 2023

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The art market never sleeps, but it certainly takes a rest during the summer months, as evidenced by the top-selling lots at auction around the world in August 2023. The most expensive work sold fetched just $6.2 million with fees, which, while certainly a pretty penny, isn’t a figure that typically makes the top tier of worldwide auction results. All the 15 lots on this list were sold at auction houses outside of both the United States and Europe, which helps to explain the lower figures. The majority of the sales came from Mumbai-based Pundole auction house, which specializes in Indian artwork.

The top selling lot, by Sayed Haider Raza (also known as S.H. Raza), fetched a hammer price of 450,000,000 INR, or $5.4 million ($6.2 million with fees), just shy of the recently-set auction record for a work by an Indian artist, a 1937 work by Amrita Sher-Gil that fetched more than $7.4 million at Saffronart auction house in September.

Other top lots came from Australia-based auction houses Smith & Singer and Deutscher and Hackett, and still others from the Hangzhou, China-based XiLingYinShe Auction Company.

Below, see the full list of the most-expensive lots sold at auction last month.

 

1. Sayed Haider Raza, (1989)

Sayed Haider Raza, <i>Gestation</i> (1989). Courtesy of Pundole's.

Sayed Haider Raza, Gestation (1989). Courtesy of Pundole’s.

Estimate: 150,000,000 to 250,000,000 INR ($1.8 million to $3 million)

Final Price: 450,000,000 INR ($5.4 million; $6.2 with fees)

Where & When: Pundole’s Mumbai, August 31, 2023

 

2. Francis Newton Souza, (ca. 1960s)

Francis Newton Souza, <i>Hunger</i> (ca. 1960s). Courtesy of Pundole's.

Francis Newton Souza, Hunger (c. 1960s). Courtesy of Pundole’s.

Estimate: 120,000,000 to 180,000,000 INR ($1.45 million to $2.2 million)

Final Price: 300,000,000 INR ($3.63 million; $4.2 million with fees)

Where & When: Pundole’s Mumbai, August 31, 2023

 

3. Yan Wenliang,

Yan Wenliang, <i>Opposite Sun and Moon Glory </i>. Courtesy of XiLingYinShe Auction Co. Ltd.

Yan Wenliang, Opposite Sun and Moon Glory. Courtesy of XiLingYinShe Auction Co. Ltd.

Estimate: 15,000,000 to 25,000,000 CNY ($2.1 million to $3.5 million)

Final Price: 22,310,000 CNY ($3.1 million)

Where & When: XiLingYinShe Auction Co. Ltd., August 5, 2023

 

4. John Peter Russell, (1897)

John Peter Russell, <i>Souvenir de Belle-Île (Marianna Russell with Goats, Goulphar, Belle-Île)</i> (1897). Courtesy of Deutscher and Hackett.

John Peter Russell, Souvenir de Belle-Île (Marianna Russell with Goats, Goulphar, Belle-Île) (1897). Courtesy of Deutscher and Hackett.

Estimate: 1.5 million t0 2 million AUD ( $965,873 to $1.6 million)

Final Price: 3.9 million AUD ($2.5 million)

Where & When: Deutscher and Hackett, August 16, 2023

 

5. Wu Changshuo,

Wu Changshuo, <i>100 Pages of Important Experiences.</i> Courtesy of XiLingYinShe Auction Co. Ltd.

Wu Changshuo, 100 Pages of Important Experiences. Courtesy of XiLingYinShe Auction Co. Ltd.

Estimate: 3,600,000 to 6,000,000 CNY ($502,162 to $836,937)

Final Price: 15.2 million CNY ($2.1 million)

Where & When: XiLingYinShe Auction Co. Ltd, August 6, 2023

 

6. Frederick Ronald Williams, (1981)

Frederick Ronald Williams, <i>Masons Falls</i> (1981). Courtesy of Smith and Singer.

Frederick Ronald Williams, Masons Falls (1981). Courtesy of Smith and Singer.

Estimate:  2,000,000 AUD to 3,000,000 AUD ($1.3 million to  $1.9 million)

Final Price: 3,190,909 AUD ($2.06 million)

Where & When: Smith & Singer Auctions, August 23, 2023

 

7. Tyeb Mehta, (1985)

Tyeb Mehta, <i>Two Heads</i> (1985). Courtesy of Pundole's.

Tyeb Mehta, Two Heads (1985). Courtesy of Pundole’s.

Estimate:  30,000,000 INR to 50,000,000 INR ($362,744 to $604,574)

Final Price: 130,000,000 INR ($1.6 million; $1.9 million with fees)

Where & When: Pundole’s Mumbai, August 31, 2023

 

8. Sidney Nolan, (1955)

Sidney Nolan, <i>Early Morning Township </i>(1955). Courtesy of Deutscher and Hackett.

Sidney Nolan, Early Morning Township (1955). Courtesy of Deutscher and Hackett.

Estimate:  1,500,000 AUD to 2,000,000 AUD ($965,873 to $1.3 million)

Final Price: 2,700,000 AUD ($1.7 million)

Where & When: Deutscher and Hackett, August 16, 2023

 

9. Arpita Singh, (2004)

Arpita Singh, <i>Watching</i> (2004). Courtesy of Pundole's.

Arpita Singh, Watching (2004). Courtesy of Pundole’s.

Estimate:  30,000,000 INR to 50,000,000 INR ($362,744 to $604,574)

Final Price: 110,000,000 INR ($1.3 million; $1.6 million with fees)

Where & When: Pundole’s Mumbai, August 31, 2023

 

10. Tyeb Mehta, (1962)

Tyeb Mehta, <i>Bull on Rickshaw</i> (1962). Courtesy of Pundole's.

Tyeb Mehta, Bull on Rickshaw (1962). Courtesy of Pundole’s.

Estimate: 40,000,000 INR to 60,000,000 INR ($483,659 to $725,488)

Final Price: 100,000,000 INR ($1.2 million; $1.5 million with fees)

Where & When: Pundole’s Mumbai, August 31, 2023

 

11. Brett Whiteley, (1984)

Brett Whiteley, <i>South Coast After the Rain</i> (1984). Courtesy of Deustcher and Hackett.

Brett Whiteley, South Coast After the Rain (1984). Courtesy of Deustcher and Hackett.

Estimate:  1,500,000 AUD to 2,000,000 AUD ($965,873 to $1,287,830)

Final Price: 2,209,091 AUD ($1.4 million)

Where & When: Deustcher and Hackett, August 16, 2023

 

12. Ma Wanbi, (1360)

Ma Wanbi, Xishan Thatched Cottage (1360)

Ma Wanbi, Xishan Thatched Cottage (1360). Courtesy of XiLingYinShe Auction Co. Ltd.

Estimate:  5,000,000 CNY to 8,000,000 CNY ($697,340 to $1.1 million)

Final Price:  8,050,000 CNY ($1.1 million)

Where & When: XiLingYinShe Auction Co. Ltd., August 5, 2023

 

13. Francis Newton Souza,  (1987)

Francis Newton Souza, <i>Untitled (Bombay)</i> (1987). Courtesy of Pundole's.

Francis Newton Souza, Untitled (Bombay) (1987). Courtesy of Pundole’s.

Estimate:  15,000,000 INR to 25,000,000 INR ($181,372 to $302,287)

Final Price: 70,000,000 INR ($846,403; $1.03 million with fees)

Where & When: Pundole’s Mumbai, August 31, 2023

 

14. Bill Hammond, (1999)

Bill Hammond, <i>Melting Moments I</i> (1999). Courtesy of Webb's.

Bill Hammond, Melting Moments I (1999). Courtesy of Webb’s.

Estimate:  1,500,000 NZD to 2,500,000 NZD ($886,420 to $1,477,367)

Final Price: 1,674,025 NZD ($989,260)

Where & When: Webb’s Auctions, August 28, 2023

 

15. Jagdish Swaminathan, (1991)

Jagdish Swaminathan, <i>Untitled</i> (1991). Courtesy of Pundole's.

Jagdish Swaminathan, Untitled (1991). Courtesy of Pundole’s.

Estimate:  30,000,000 INR to 50,000,000 INR ($362,744 to $604,574)

Final Price: 65,000,000 INR ($785,946; $958,854 with fees)

Where & When: Pundole’s Mumbai, August 31, 2023

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