A rare sculpture of a young dancer by French Impressionist Edgar Degas sold for a record 13.3 million pounds ($19.2 million) yesterday at Sotheby's auction house in London. It was expected to sell for up to 12 million pounds ($17 million). Collector and philanthropist Sir John Madejski paid 5 million pounds for the statue at the British auction house in February 2004. The bronze cast was one of only 10 remaining in private collections.
La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans, or Little Dancer of Fourteen Years, a bronze figure of a young ballerina with her chin tilted up and hands clasped behind her back, was bought by a private bidder in Asia. The record sale price for a Degas statue made it the top lot in Sotheby's auction of Impressionist and modern art, which earned a total of 32.5 million pounds ($46.2 million). Twenty-two of the 29 lots found buyers, proving that the art market can still attract wealthy buyers, even during a recession.