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The best-performing lot  was an Auguste Rodin bronze which was sold for £10.2m at Sotheby's February 3 evening sale.

The price for Iris, which was cast during the artist's lifetime,  was well over its £8m high estimate and was an auction record for the artist.

Picasso's Tête de femme (1935) was the top price at Sotheby's, going to a private collector for £16.7m, a sum towards the lower end of its £16m-20m estimate.

Another record was achieved for the Paul Delvaux, whose painting Le Miroir was knocked down for a hammer price of £6.4m, a record for the artist at auction, within its £5.5-7.5m estimate.

At Christie's, the top price came for Max Ernst's The Stolen Mirror (1941), although again the price was within its estimate of £7-10m as it was knocked down for £7.6m.

Performing better was Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's Erna am Meer, Fehmarn (1913), which went for £4.2m against a £2.5m high estimate.