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Late last year the $15 million or £9.5 million estimate for Georgia O'Keeffe's work at auction was shattered after a rather intense bidding war between two unknown rivals. "Jimson Weed/White Flower No 1," a 1932 painting of a simple white flower, was finally bought after the flurry by an unnamed buyer with a telephone bid at Sotheby’s auction house.

The floral painting by the late US artist has sold for $44.4 million or £28.8 million at auction; this set a record for an artwork by a female artist. The auction of the work smashed the previous record of $11.9 million or £7.5 million for an untitled work by Joan Mitchell, which was set in set in May. The work was put up for sale by the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in New Mexico, after the need arose to raise proceeds for its acquisitions fund.

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Sotheby’s London Impressionist and Modern Art Sale will feature “Les Peupliers à Giverny,’’ one of Monet’s depictions of poplar trees in the fields at the edge of his property in Giverny. Painted in 1887, it captures the sunset of early autumn. Sotheby’s is auctioning the painting on Feb. 3; it is estimated to sell for $13.8 million to $18.4 million (£9 million to £12.1 million).

The work is in fact one of five Monets included in this Sotheby’s sale, but this particular painting maybe of special interest due to the seller of the work – the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which comes as a surprising twist. The catalogue says it is being sold to “benefit the acquisitions fund.”

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One of Georgia O’Keeffe’s iconic flower paintings has shattered the auction record for a work by a female artist. On Thursday, November 20, “Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1” (1932), a commanding painting with an impressive provenance, sold for $44.4 million during Sotheby’s American Art sale in New York. The work, which belonged to the artist’s sister, Anita O’Keeffe Young, and hung in the White House’s private dining room during the George W. Bush administration, was offered for sale by the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. The Santa Fe-based institution sold the painting, along with two other works by O’Keeffe, to benefit its Acquisitions Fund.

Seven bidders competed for “Jimson Weed,” driving the price to a record height and nearly tripling the work’s high estimate of $15 million.

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