Andy Warhol piece sells for $43.8m



2015-06-26 11:43:50

Andy Warhol piece sells for $43.8m

200 One Dollar Bills quadruples estimate at auction

This week, Sotheby's held an exceptionally successful modern art sale at which 52 of the 54 lots sold, raising $134.4m against the expected total of $97.7m.

Most of the difference between these two figures can be accounted for by looking at a single lot, however: an early Andy Warhol piece, using his favourite silkscreen inks.

The piece shows black-on-grey life size $1 bills in regular rows and columns. It was no surprise that it turned out to be top lot, having been estimated at $8-12m, but even this figure rapidly started to seem absurd as the bids mounted up.

Excited bidding pressed up past the $20m, $30m and even $40m to sell for an immense $43.8m in front of a startled crowd.

You can see the sale on video here:

The name of the new owner is unknown, as they took part through telephone bidding. The seller, however, is believed to be London-based collector Pauline Karpidas, who must be celebrating.

Warhol remains an iconic figure in the art world and his work and image are highly sought after. He remains on the Top 10 Dead Celebrity Earners list and is the subject of a major exhibition at Milwaukee Art Museum until January. One of his portraits of Michael Jackson recently sold for over $1m

Andy Warhol self portrait Andy Warhol's self portrait

Other Warhol works in the sale also smashed their estimates: an untitled work using pencil, felt tip marker and graphite to show a roll of dollar bills sold for $4.2m, ahead of its original estimate of $2.5-3.5m.

Likewise a huge self-portrait by the artist in acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas, dated 1965 and inscribed to Cathy, crushed its valuation of $1-1.5m to be taken home for $6.1m.

A real show of growing vigour from the modern art market.

Images: Sotheby's

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