These buyers known as "Medici" collectors - named after Italy's elite dynasty of art patrons who, across centuries, employed only the era's most brilliant artists.
In much the same way, a Medici collector targets only the best artworks of the best. Their goal? To amass varied collections of the very best works from a variety of disciplines, be it art, sculpture or furniture.
As Jussi Pylkkanen, President of Christie's auction houses in Europe (and also the coiner of the term "Medici buyer"), told the Independent: "We're talking about the wealthiest and most influential philanthropists.
"Today we see great 21st century artists being hung alongside great masterpieces... Collectors have broader taste than ever."
Of course, one of the many perks of being a collector in the 21st century is the hundreds of years of culture to choose from. And Medici collectors are doing just that, from Rembrandts to Freuds and formaldehyde sharks.
Picasso's Nude, Green Leaves and Bust sold for $106m to a Chinese collector - testament to the ever-growing globalisation of the high-end art markets
But that's not all... As regular readers of Paul Fraser Collectibles will already be aware, many collectors are seeking to bring the greatest artists to their country - and in many cases, as with China's artists, bring their indigenous old masters back.Wealthy collectors from a variety of places like Russia, China and Abu Dhabi are out to amass the finest collectors for both private houses and museums.
Indeed, Abu Dhabi plans to develop a number of new museums in future years, including a new Guggenheim and Louvre in the region. Abu Dhabi's museum experts are expected to be in regular attendance at 2011's upcoming sales.
Driven by devoted and wealthy Medici collectors, and facilitated by the internet, this is why the world's largest auctions regularly attract bidders from as many as 60 different countries.
And it's also why London's top three auction houses are confidently predicting a number of new World Record prices in their upcoming Modern and Impressionist sales.
One thing's for sure, the participation of the global Medici elite should spell an exciting and prosperous future for the world's art markets.
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