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Gerhard Richter painting owned by Eric Clapton sets auction record

Auction ServiceMichael CrichtonEric ClaptonSotheby's Holdings Incorporated

A painting by German artist Gerhard Richter has broken the record for the most paid at auction for a work by a living artist, according to Sotheby's. The work, titled "Abstaktes Bild" (804-9), sold for 21.3 million pounds ($34.2 million) on Friday in London.

Sotheby's said the 1994 painting belonged to guitarist Eric Clapton and was sold to an anonymous buyer. The auction house had estimated the painting between 9 million to 12 million pounds.  

The all-time top record-holder for a painting at auction was set last year with Cezanne's "The Card Players," which sold for more than $250 million. The previous record for a living artist was a U.S. flag painting by Jasper Johns that was sold for $28.6 million in 2010.

The flag painting had been part of the Michael Crichton collection.

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