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Rockefeller collection heading for $1bn with jewel...

It’s hard to get one’s head around the record-breaking series of sales at which the 1,500 objects comprising the Rockefeller Collection went under the hammer at Christies in New York earlier this month.

From the start the figures were jaw-dropping, and those zeros just kept on clocking up: by the end, it was a case of 100 per cent of lots sold and a total of more than $800 million donated to scientific research, higher education, the arts, sustainable economic development and land conservation initiatives.

And it’s not over yet – there’s still a jewellery sale to come on June 12th.

Among the world record prices for various artists including Matisse, Diego Rivera, Delacroix, Corot and others, we’ve got half a dozen flabbergasting favourites.

So let’s take one last nostalgic look back before putting the entire extravaganza to bed once and for all. (And when you come to the final item on our list, remember that it’s a 24-inch-long wooden decoy used for duck hunting. Yep.)

Claude Monet, Nymphéas en Fleur

Show me the Monet

Claude Monet, Nymphéas en Fleur

Estimate: $50,000,000, Price realised: €84,687,500 (€70,957,765)

Sevres porcelain dessert service

Sweet treat

Sevres porcelain dessert service, made for Napoleon

Estimate: $150,000-$250,000, Price realised: $1,812,500 (€1,529,423)

Gilbert Stuart, Portrait of George Washington

Trump that, Mr President

Gilbert Stuart, Portrait of George Washington

Estimate: $800,000-$1,200,000, Price realised: $11,562, 500 (€9,756,662)

Pair of Queen Anne stools

Sitting pretty

Pair of Queen Anne stools, circa 1710

Estimate: $70,000-$100,000, Price realised: $275,000 (€232,050)

Gauguin, La Vague

Shore thing

Paul Gauguin, La Vague (The Wave)

Estimate: $18 million, Price realised: $35,187,500 (€29, 482, 821)

Wooden swan decoy

No ugly duckling

John Haynes Williams, Whistling Swan wooden decoy

Estimate: $100,000, Price realised: $348,500 (€293,028)

Source: Michael Parsons