Bert Lahr’s Cowardly Lion costume used in the classic Wizard of Oz movie was sold for $3,077,000 at Bonhams’ New York auction.

Lion Costume Wizard of Oz

It was one of the many items of the “TCM Presents… There’s no place like Hollywood” auction that fetched amazingly high prices, including the piano used in the movie Casablanca, which sold for over $3.4 million

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An important and rare table lamp by Tiffany Studios was sold for $1,202,500 by Sotheby’s at the “Important Tiffany” auction in New York on December 16, 2010

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Sotheby’s recently sold one of the most exquisite carpets for $5,458,500 in Doha on March 19. As the catalog note says: “The Pearl Carpet of Baroda is an extraordinary work of art that is a true testament to the wealth, sophistication, and grandeur of the legendary courts of the maharajas as well as an extant example of the fabled riches of India.”

Hold your breath: This legendary carpet is made of approximately 1.2-1.5 million pearls and around 2,500 table cut and occasional rose cut diamonds. The total estimated weight of the pearls is 30,000 carats and the diamonds are estimated to be 350-400 carats in total, all set in silver topped gold or possibly blackened gold.

Below are a few pictures. For high resolution, zoomable view please visit the image viewer on Sotheby’s website

The Pearl Carpet of Baroda

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Portrait of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre BergéOne of the most anticipated art sale events this year so far was the week long viewing exhibition and auction of the collection of Yves Saint Laurent & Pierre Bergé. This stunning collection of antiquities, modern and decorative arts, interior designs, sculptures and everything in between and beyond was collected by the two men during a period of 50 years and now auctioned off by Christie’s and Pierre Bergé Associates in Paris. This Legendary Collection – as Pierre Bergé said – is a piece of art itself. Yves Saint Laurent noted – “Pierre Bergé and I wished for our selection to reflect our favourite pieces and for it to evolve with them, quality being the only criterion to guide us.”

The auction raised a total of €373,935,500 ($483,835,144), which is the world record sum for a private collection sold at auction. The nearly half a billion dollars will benefit the Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent Foundation and a new foundation with the purpose of supporting scientific research and the fight against AIDS. Many blogs and news outlets covered the record breaking sales and some of the controversies, so we decided to include some of the lots with million-dollar hammer prices, categorized according to Christie’s lots.
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Below are two important gilt bronze figures – statues of Avalokiteshvara and Buddha, respectively – which were sold at Christie’s “Masterpieces Of Himalayan Bronzes” auction event.

Large gilt bronze figure of Avalokiteshvara (sold for $1,538,500)

Gilt Bronze Figure of Avalokiteshvara

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