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Eric Clapton's Richter sells for $34.2 million

Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 4:51 PM ET

LONDON -- A Gerhard Richter painting owned by Eric Clapton has sold for 21.3 million pounds ($34.2 million), handily beating pre-sale estimates and setting a new auction record for the German abstract artist.

Sotheby's auction house says Richter's "Abstraktes Bild" sold to an anonymous buyer Friday in London, ending a more than five-minute bidding competition between two telephone buyers.

The 1994 abstract oil on canvas piece from guitarist Clapton's collection was expected to sell for between 9 million and 12 million pounds.

Friday's sale handily beat Richter's previous auction record of $21.9 million set in May in New York with the sale of his "Abstract Picture (7938-3)."

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