David Bowie's art collection hits the auction block

David Bowie's art collection set to hit auction block

Highlights from the contemporary art collection of music legend David Bowie began the final American leg of its world tour on Monday (September 26th), before its auction in November.

Sotheby's previewed the pieces at their New York headquarters.

"Overall, we will be selling over 350 items. The low estimate is £10-£15 million ($13-$19 million). We divided it into three sales: two sales of modern and contemporary art and then a whole sale of post-modern Italian design," explained Simon Hucker, a Senior Specialist in Modern and Post-War British Art at Sotheby's, about the auction on November 10th and 11th in London.

David Bowie's art collection hits the auction block

Over an almost 50-year career, Bowie, who passed away aged 69 in January, amassed a huge collection of art for which he was well known.

"I think it's more to do with his wider interest in creativity, in the way that artists work, in the artistic process. He refers to one of the paintings in the sale, the 'Head of Gerda Boehm' by Frank Auerbach, that he'd look at it in the morning and it would affect his mood and also that he'd be inspired to try and make sounds that reflected the way that that painting made him feel," explained Hucker about music legend's attraction to art.

David Bowie's art collection hits the auction block

Bowie was deeply engaged in the world of art, especially in Modern and Contemporary British art, as an artist, critic, patron, publisher, and even magazine editor. He joined the editorial team of 'Modern Painter' magazine where he interviewed artists such as Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin.

As an actor, Bowie even played Andy Warhol in Julian Schnabel's 1996 biopic 'Basquiat' with Jeffrey Wright, Gary Oldman and Dennis Hopper.

Among the top lots in the sale is a Jean-Michel Basquiat piece "Air Power", estimated at $3.3-$4.6 million.

The highlights will move to Sotheby's in Hong Kong next month, before the entire private collection of Bowie is put on public display in London in November in the week leading up to the auction.

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10 incredible auctions

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The Henry Graves Supercomplication was commissioned in 1925, and took eight years to make.

The world's most expensive stamp sold at auction in 2014 for over $9 million.

The British Guiana One-Cent Magenta is as rare as a stamp can get. British Guiana was one of the first countries in the New World to start issuing stamps, but in 1856, they ran out, and asked the local newspaper printer to produce extras.

There were two denominations: the four-cent, which is very rare, and the one-cent - of which only one has ever been discovered.

In May 2015, an anonymous London businesswoman snapped up the licence plate KR15 HNA for £233,000, making it the most expensive standard number plate ever to be sold in the UK.

Queen Victoria's bloomers sold at auction for £6,200, along with a pair of her silk stockings.

They have a 52-inch waist, and belonged to the monarch in the 1890s - "towards the end of her life when she had eaten a lot more than most people could afford to," said auctioneer Michael Hogben. In today's sizing, they'd be a size 26.

In 2014, a three-year-old slice of cake sold at auction for $7,500 (£4,800). The reason the stale cake was in such demand was that it was from the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton in 2011.

The buyer said he intended to give it away as part of promoting his Silicon Valley start-up.

A British coin sold at auction for a record-breaking £430,000 in 2014. After fees, the buyer paid £516,000 - making it the most expensive modern British coin ever to be sold.

The coin is only one of two in existence. It was a 'proof' for a gold sovereign which was meant to be produced to commemorate the coronation of Edward VIII in 1937. However, Edward abdicated in 1936, so the coronation never happened and the coins were never made


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