But Novogratz said this art market feels perilously similar to the dot-com bubble of 1999 and that it is benefiting from easy central bank policy that's largely helping the wealthy.
"The Fed has this policy of trickled-down monetary policy ... helping the rich get richer, and the rich are getting tremendously richer because asset prices are going up around the world," he said.
Novogratz said the art market is also being propped up by the rich in China and Russia who are looking for a safe store of value for their wealth offshore.
(Read More: Newer Art Works Expected to Lead Auction Boom)
"You also have the illegal money, the dirty money, the money laundering that is coming out of ... vast parts of the world where people ... want an easy an easy place to store their money," he said. "That's what's really giving this its turbo-charge to the art market."
The auction houses say the prices convey confidence that quality art will stand the test of time and that demand is coming from all over the world.
"The global nature of today's art market was yet again underlined with collectors from 35 countries registering to bid in the sale, 20 percent of whom were new to either Sotheby's or the category," the auction house said in a statement.
—BY CNBC's Robert Frank. Follow him on Twitter: @robtfrank