AFFLUENCE

YSL Auction: Rich Still Rich

The rich aren't dead yet: Despite the startling downturn in the art market-last year sales at the two major auction houses were down 16.8 percent-Christie's successfully auctioned off $264 million of Impressionist and modern art collected by the late designer Yves-Saint Laurent. The sale exceeded its presale estimate of $232 million, and records were broken for seven artists, including Piet Mondrian and Marcel Duchamp. Also, a French judge dismissed a suit by the Chinese government to stop the sale of two Qing dynasty bronze fountainheads, which the Chinese government claims were looted. Collectors did exercise some restraint-a Cubist Picasso work went unsold with a $32 million price tag.