As pioneers of the ever expanding international art market, Sotheby's opened the doors of its New York offices in 1955, and in 1967 acquired Parke-Bernet, the United States' largest fine art auction house. More than 50 years after opening, Sotheby's New York continues to thrive as the company's worldwide headquarters. Its history of success includes numerous high-profile sales such as the collections of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Katharine Hepburn.
In recent years Sotheby's has made auction history with Picasso's Garçon è la pipe and Dora Maar au chat, the two most expensive works sold at auction. In 2007 the New York headquarters held an array of exciting sales with property that spanned the centuries. The Magna Carta sold for $21.3 million and the Guennol Lioness brought $57.2 million, a record for an antiquity at auction and sculpture at auction. 2007 also brought continued interest in Contemporary art and numerous important works were sold in New York, including Mark Rothko's White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose), and Francis Bacon's Study from Innocent X. In May 2008, the Contemporary Art auction became the most successful in Sotheby's history, with Francis Bacon's Triptych, 1976 realizing $86.3 million, an auction record for the artist and a record for a Contemporary work sold at auction.
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