Thursday 28th January 2021 10:00ET Sotheby's first livestreamed sale of 2021 gripped a global audience of art enthusiasts and collectors today.

Sotheby's marquee sale of Old Master paintings and sculpture had been eagerly anticipated by art enthusiasts and collectors, and was led by Sandro Botticelli's 'Portrait of a Youth Holding a Roundel'. One of the finest portraits ever painted by the Renaissance artist, the picture sold for a record $92.2 million and saw transatlantic bidding between Sotheby's representatives in New York and London, with the ultimate under-bidder bidding on behalf of an Asian collector. Just one of three portraits left in private hands by this leading artist of the Italian Renaissance, known to many for his famous Primavera and Birth of Venus, the painting had attracted pre-sale interest from institutional and private buyers alike. The price achieved today makes it not only one of the most valuable portraits of any era ever sold, but also the second most valuable Old Master painting ever sold at auction

Further auction records were set for Luca Della Robbia's Relief of the Madonna and Child, which sold for $2,016,500; Gerard Sehgers, Frans Pourbus the Elder, The Master of Marradi and Willem van Aelst.

The Botticelli now stands alongside Francis Bacon's Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus as the second work to have surpassed $80 million at auction since Sotheby's pioneered the new livestreamed auction format some seven months ago.

Sotheby's has firmly held its position at the top of the auction industry throughout the Covid pandemic, bringing the drama of the auction room to audiences around the world.

The next livestreamed auction to take place will be the Hester Diamond Collection, which will take place tomorrow at 10:00 ET. You can watch this on Sotheby's website, or via the Sotheby's You Tube channel. More information can be found here.

Consumer-ready highlights package

29 January 2021