Every lot found a buyer in the first of Sotheby's two-day sale of the David Bowie collection held in London on
November 9, 2016 and the pre-sale estimate of £8.1 million to £11.7 million was
easily smashed to reach a total of £24.3 million.
A Basquiat untitled
composition of 1984 which had cost £58,700 sold for £2.8 million, while another
larger work by the artist titled Air
Power, which the singer bought for £78,500, doubled estimates to sell for £7.1 million ($8.8
million) and register the greatest price increase of the sale.
Bowie's earliest acquisition was a 16th century canvas showing St Catherine of Alexandria, which sold
above estimate for £191,000 while Duchamp's surrealistic With Hidden Noise went for
a double estimate £557,000 and Meret Oppenheim's 1973 painting "La
Condition Humaine" rose to £ 197,000 against a £ 20,000 estimate.
Bowie was also
interested in the works of British artists such as Frank Auerbach whose early Head
of Gerda Boehm, from 1965. sold for a record £ 3,8 million against
a shy estimate of £300,000. Eleven records were set for Modern British
artists. Peter Lanyon's Witness (1961) went for £ 797,000 against a
high estimate of 350,000, while a 1913 drawing of the historian Lytton Strachey
by Henry Lamb rose to £100,000 and a 1917 "Interior" (Mrs Mounter) by
Harold Gilman bought in 1993 for £ 111,500 soared to £485,000.
Other records included Patrick Caulfield's
"Foyer" (1973) bought in 1997 for £36,700 which went for £ 665,000,
Ivon Hitchens's "The
Boathouse", and an early view of St Ives
harbor by Winifred Nicholson, each of which sold for a record £245,000.
Meanwhile, a small watercolour study of the head of
James Joyce by the Irish artist
Louis le Brocquy, which Bowie bought in 1994 for £1,265 caused sensation when it sold for £68,750.
The sale ended with
two spin paintings by Damien Hirst, one of which sold for a double estimate of
£755,000 while the other fetched £ 785,000 and Lanyon's 1951 landscape, Trevalgan, sold within its estimate for
Kenneth Armitage's small bronze Figure Lying on its Side(1957)
fetched £125,000, Edward Wadsworth's surrealistic Au Revoir (1929), sold for £112,500, a painting
by David Bomberg went surprisingly below estimate for £68,750 and Gilbert and George's nine
panel photographic work, LEAF
culminated at £281,000.