Coke-inspired Warhol sells for $57 million

An anonymous buyer bought Andy Warhol’s “Coca-Cola (3)” painting late Tuesday for a whopping $57.3 million.

The 6-foot black-and-white painting of the beverage giant’s iconic contour bottle was painted by the equally iconic Warhol in 1962. The piece, which has been in private hands for years, was priced between $40 million and $60 million by Christie’s, the auction house that sold the painting.

Leaders at Atlanta-based Coca-Cola said the sale was the most-ever paid for a Coca-Cola-related work. The previous title holder was another Warhol Coca-Cola piece, which sold for $34.5 million in 2010.

Ted Ryan, Coca-Cola’s archivist, attended the auction in New York, but said he did not plan to make a bid on the painting. Coca-Cola has about 30 pieces by Warhol, including paintings, sketches and Polaroids.

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