Andy Warhol self-portrait fetches $38.4m

Andy Warhol's Self-Portrait, 1963-64 Warhol's first self-portrait was commisioned for $1,600 in 1963

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Andy Warhol's first self-portrait, a four-panel acrylic silk-screen in blue hues, has fetched $38.4m (£23.5m) at an auction at Christie's in New York.

The sale of the 1963-64 work, which achieved a Warhol self-portrait record, was the highlight of a contemporary sale which totalled $301.7m (£184.7m).

Eight Warhols were sold in all, taking a total of $91m (£55.7m).

An untitled 1961 Mark Rothko, which had an estimate of $22m (£13.5m), sold for $33.7m (£20.6m).

Only three of 65 works on offer failed to sell in a sale which achieved the New York auction house's highest total since May 2008.

Christie's senior international director Laura Paulson said the sale showed "the depth of energy and interest if the quality is there".

Warhol's Self-Portrait, 1963-64, was sold by the estate of Detroit collector Florence Barron who commissioned the work for $1,600.

One of the artist's last self-portraits, from 1986, also sold for $27.5m (£16.9m).

Francis Bacon's Three Studies for Self-Portrait Francis Bacon's Three Studies for Self-Portrait triptych sold for $25.3m (£15.6m)

The red-on-black work shows the artist with spiky hair looking directly at the viewer.

Records were set for Cy Twombly, whose untitled 1967 work fetched $15.2m (£9.3m), California modernist Richard Diebenkorn and Swiss artist Urs Fischer.

An untitled 1981 colour print by Cindy Sherman - who is the subject of all her own works - broke the record for any photograph sold at auction fetching $3.9m (£2.4m).

Francis Bacon's Three Studies for Self-Portrait triptych sold for $25.3m (£15.6m).

Wednesday's auction followed Tuesday's contemporary art sale at Sotheby's in New York at which Warhol's Sixteen Jackies - featuring former US first lady Jackie Kennedy - sold for $20.2m (£12.4m).

The New York contemporary art sales will conclude on Thursday at auction house Phillips de Pury where Warhol's Elizabeth Taylor work Liz #5 is estimated to go for between $20m (£12.3m) and $30m (£18.4m).

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