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Fresh record at Sotheby's art sale

"Danseuse" by Gino Severini is seen in an undated handout image. REUTERS/Sotheby's/Handout

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Sotheby’s raised 102 million pounds ($201 million) at its impressionist and modern art sale in London late on Wednesday, including a new record for a futurist work sold at auction.

The result, in excess of the auctioneer’s high estimate of 97 million pounds, follows rival Christie’s equivalent sale on Tuesday that fetched 144 million pounds, the highest total for an auction in Europe.

The star lot at the Sotheby’s sale was “Danseuse”, a 1915 work by Italian futurist Gino Severini, which went under the hammer for 15 million pounds ($29.6 million).

The amount was seven times the previous record for the artist and a record for any futurist work at auction.

Other highlights included a bronze sculpture by Alberto Giacometti, which sold for 9.4 million pounds, a Pablo Picasso portrait of his mistress Dora Maar (7.9 million) and Claude Monet’s “La Plage a Trouville” (7.7 million).

The auction record for the same artist was shattered on Tuesday when a water-lily painting fetched 41 million pounds.

The results at the start of 10 days of auctions in London underline the ongoing strength of the art market, despite broader economic gloom caused by falling stocks, rising oil prizes and the mortgage meltdown.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Matthew Jones)

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