It may sound counter-intuitive, but banks probably would not want this money. File photograph: Toby Melville/PA

In the old days when somebody had a large financial windfall, it was often speculated that person could “live off the interest”. An interest rate of (...)

‘Nu couché (sur le côté gauche)’ by Amedeo Modigliani during a Sotheby’s preview of the May Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art, in New York. Photograph: Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images

When it was first exhibited in Paris in 1917, Amedeo Modigliani’s female nude Nu couché (sur le côté gauche) caused such a stir that the police were c(...)

Fillette a la Corbeille Fleurie by Pablo Picasso. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

With $115 million, the winning bidder for Fillette a la Corbeille Fleurie (Young Girl With Basket of Flowers) at Christie’s on Tuesday night took owne(...)

The Chateau Louis XIV, which was sold for over $300 million two years ago, in Louveciennes, France. Photograph: Lea Mandana/The New York Times

When the Chateau Louis XIV sold for over $300 million two years ago, Fortune magazine called it “the world’s most expensive home,” and Town & Coun(...)

A detail from 'Salvator Mundi', an ethereal portrait of Jesus Christ which dates to about 1500. Photograph: Courtesy of Christie’s New York

He is a little-known Saudi prince from a remote branch of the royal family, with no history as a major art collector and no publicly known source of g(...)

A detail from Salvator Mundi, an ethereal portrait of Jesus Christ which dates to about 1500, and is said to be the last privately owned Leonardo da Vinci painting. Photograph: Courtesy of Christie’s New York

Despite the pre-sale publicity, Salvator Mundi does not have the kind of history that would reassure you about its status and authenticity, especially(...)

Christie’s employees take bids for Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi during the postwar and contemporary art evening sale at Christie’s New York on Wednesday. Photograph: Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Salvator Mundi, the long-lost Leonardo da Vinci painting of Jesus Christ commissioned by King Louis XII of France more than 500 years ago, has sold at(...)

Leonardo da Vincis ‘Salvator Mundi’  on display at Christie’s New York  during a press preview for the Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening Sale. Photograph: Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images

It was hailed as the greatest artistic find of the past 50 years, a masterpiece disguised behind amateur layers of paint and found festering in obscur(...)