13-05-08 2091NE08X cezanne still life.jpg
Paul Cézanne’s ‘Les pommes’ which sold for $37m (£24.8m) at Sotheby's in New York.

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It was one of 20 works at the auction which came from the estate of collectors Alex and Elisabeth Lewyt which saw strong interest as 17 of them got away for a combined hammer total of $77.8m (£52.2m).

Estimated at $25m-35m, the Cézanne dated from 1889-90 and was pictured on the front cover of the catalogue.

A balanced composition with attractive brushwork and colour tones, it was deemed "one of Cézanne's most perfect still lifes" according to Charles Moffett, the vice chairman of Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern art department.

At the sale on May 7, it drew three interested parties and sold to an anonymous phone bidder at $37m (£24.8m).

Overall, the sale saw 60 of the 71 lots sell for a $199.7m hammer total.

£1 = $1.49