Pablo Picasso's Les Femmes d'Alger

Employees of Christie's auction house hold up Spanish painter Pablo Picassos Les femmes dAlger (Version O) during a press preview in London on April 10, 2015. Les femmes dAlger (Version O), a vibrant cubist work last auctioned in 1997 when it nearly tripled the expected price, is estimated to fetch about 140 million USD at auction in New York in May, by far the highest price ever for a work of art on the auction block. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION, TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Going once, going twice, sold! Wealthy collectors are smashing records at auctions around the world. Here are some of the most expensive items ever sold.

Pablo Picasso's 1955 painting, Les femmes d'Alger (Version O), sold for $179,365,000 at Christie's auction house in New York in 2015. It set a new world record for the most valuable work of art sold at auction.

First published March 2, 2016: 6:29 AM ET

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