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Christie's held the biggest art auction in history on Wednesday, selling $853 million worth of contemporary and post-war art, led by a pair of Andy Warhol works featuring multiple images of Elvis Presley and Marlon Brando. The impressive haul beat Christie's high pre-sale estimate of $836 million. It was the fourth successive time since May 2013 that the auction house's post-war and contemporary sale broke the record for the highest-ever total of a single sale.
A bidding war drove Warhol's "Triple Elvis (Ferus Type)" to $81.9 million, while "Four Marlons" fetched $69.6 million to lead the sale of 80 works in a packed saleroom where only five works failed to find buyers. Christie's had estimated the silkscreen-on-linen Warhols would together sell for more than $130 million, which turned out to be conservative in the intensely competitive market.