Sunday, 31 July 2011

Did Abramovich Just Bag a Bacon for $37 Million at Sotheby's?

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Filed under: Auctions, Art, Wealth

Last month when we wrote about an important Francis Bacon triptych being auctioned off at Sotheby's, we predicted it would blast past its $14 million high estimate. And indeed on Thursday Three Studies for a Portrait of Lucian Freud (above) sold for a whopping $37 million, or more than two and a half times the top quote, at the auction house's Looking Closely sale of 20th century artworks in London. In our original post we also put forward Bacon-loving oligarch Roman Abramovich as the likely buyer, since he's in the midst of decorating his new $230 million mega-mansion in London; while Thursday's purchaser was anonymous, we bet the Freud triptych will be hanging on Abramovich's wall before long. The Thursday sale, from works said to have belonged to the low-profile Geneva collector George Kostalitz who died last year, also saw a new auction record for any surrealist work of art – Salvador Dali's Portrait de Paul Eluard, which sold for $21.6 million.

Jared Paul Stern

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