$30 Million David Bowie Auction Sets Records for Modern British Art

November 11th, 2016 by Staff

(news.artnet.com)

There were no signs of a post-Brexit or Donald Trump election victory backlash in the art market tonight as, fairly predictably, every lot found a buyer in the first part of Sotheby’s sale of the David Bowie collection. Over 720 bidders registered to make a play for the 49 lots—more than for any other evening sale at Sotheby’s—and the pre-sale estimate of £8.1 million to £11.7 million ($10.04/14.5 million) was easily surpassed as it ran up a total of £24.3 million or $30.2 million.

One Basquiat collector, already known to Sotheby’s, made the trip to claim two works by the artist which Bowie had bought in 1995, when he was preparing for his role as Andy Warhol in Julian Schnabel’s film about Basquiat. Both dated to 1984, the smaller untitled composition which had cost £58,700 sold for £2.8 million, while the larger Air Power, which had cost the singer £78,500, doubled estimates to sell for £7.1 million ($8.8 million) and registered the greatest price increase of the sale.

 

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