Bowie/Collector, a sale of David Bowie’s design and art collection by auction house Sotheby’s, far exceeded its sale estimations, raising £32.9m from the sale of 356 pieces. A total of 59 new records for artists were set over the two day event, with some major art lots reaching double their value, and many design items selling for 10 – 15 times their valued amount.
A radio-phonograph by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni was estimated at £800 – £1200, yet sold for £257,000. Ettore Sottsass’ Casablanca sideboard was estimated at £3,000 – £5,000 but sold for £68,750; and Peter Shire’s Big Sur sofa sold for £77,500 despite also being valued at £3,000 – £5,000.
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Air Power was estimated to be sold for £2.5m – £3.5m but in fact sold for £7.1m; while Damien Hirst’s piece with Bowie Beautiful, Hallo, Space-Boy Painting valued at £250,000 – £350,000, sold for £785,000.
What was expected was the crowds – the auction filled the saleroom and attracted 1000 online bidders, looking to nab a piece of history.
“David Bowie’s personal art collection captured the imagination of the tens of thousands who visited our exhibitions and the thousands who took part in the sales,” says Oliver Barker, chairman of Sotheby’s Europe. He also said it offered “a fresh insight into the creative mind of one of the greatest cultural figures of our time”.
Sky Arts has also aired an episode of its series Auction dedicated to the sales, with a trailer here.
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