London: A vase by Pablo Picasso became the most expensive ceramic piece by the Spanish artist ever sold at auction, fetching 980,275 pounds ($1.53 million), Christie`s said Thursday.
The sale of the ‘Grand Vase aux Femmes Voiles’ for a price far above the pre-auction estimate of between 250,000 and 350,000 pounds ($386,000 and $541,000) was the big surprise of Wednesday`s auction.
Two sensual, semi-nude female figures are painted on the 64.1-centimeter (25.2-inch) glazed terracotta vase, which the auction house said was purchased by an anonymous bidder.
Bidding on works of Impressionist and modern art took place at one of Christie`s auction houses in London, where an oil painting by Picasso (1881-1973) titled "Tete de femme de profil" was sold for 505,875 pounds ($791,189).
Paintings by Chaim Soutine, Marc Chagall and Pierre-Auguste Renoir also sold at prices far above their pre-auction estimates.