Christie's sold in Shanghai for $1.8 million the first painting by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso ever auctioned in China.

The oil painting "Homme Assis," signed by the Andalusian artist on April 21, 1969, was knocked down for almost double the expected maximum amount, Christie's said in a communique.

In all, the 42 works of art and jewelry put up for auction were initially valued at some 100 million yuan ($16.3 million), though the final take soared to a staggering 154 million yuan ($25.1 million).

All but 2 percent of the pieces on offer found buyers and 96 percent went for as much or more than the value estimated by the company before its first-ever auction in mainland China.

"The response to our sale and events has been extraordinary," Christie's CEO Steven Murphy said in a statement.

"Bringing international art, including Picasso, to mainland China for the first time is the realization of a long held dream for Christie's. We are delighted to have welcomed several thousand members of the public and clients over the course of our three day gala of exhibitions, forums and lectures," he said.

The record set at Christie's first auction in China was for a necklace of rubies that sold for 18 million yuan ($2.9 million).

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