Objects of Desire: Record Breaking Auction Sales in 2021


This post is by Marcus Lu from Visual Capitalist


record breaking auction sales 2021

Record Breaking Auction Sales in 2021

2021 may have been the year of the NFT, but wealthy collectors still dropped plenty of cash on physical objects. This included the usual items like paintings and cars, as well as some more obscure ones like meteorites.

To gain insight into the world of rare collectibles, this infographic summarizes the biggest auction sales of 2021, spread across 12 different item categories.

The Numbers

The key details of these sales are listed below in tabular format. Some broke all-time records, while others set the record for 2021 specifically.

ObjectCategorySale Price (USD)Auction House
Pablo Picasso’s Femme assise près d’une fenêtrePaintings$103.4MChristie’s
Final text of the United States ConstitutionPrinted texts$43.2MSotheby’s
15.81-carat Sakura diamondPurple-pink diamonds$29.3MChristie’s
1995 McLaren F1Automobiles$20.5MGooding & Company
1933 Double Eagle coinCoins$18.9MSotheby’s
The revolver used to kill Billy the KidFirearms$6.0MBonhams
Grande et Petite SonnerieWatches$5.3MPhillips
1993 Ron Arad “D-Sofa”Furniture$1.6MPhillips
Pair of Michael Jordan’s Nike Air ShipsShoes$1.5MSotheby’s
Necklace featuring a 56.87-carat emeraldEmeralds$1.0MPhillips
4.5B year old Fukang meteoriteMeteorites$702KChristie’s
Hermès Black Togo Birkin 35Handbags$155KBonhams

The Details

Here are some interesting facts and details about these rare collectibles, starting with:

Pablo Picasso’s Femme assise près d’une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse)

This 1932 painting is a depiction of Picasso’s lover, Marie-Thérèse Walter (1909-1977). Walter is believed to have had a significant impact on Picasso’s work, (Read more...)