Sotheby’s announces the sale of Alfred Taubman’s estate which is expected to reach $500m over 500 pieces of art. The surprise isn’t that Sotheby’s got the estate, Taubman was a transformative owner of the auction house, but that it was ever a competition:
Sotheby’s said the consignment—which will offer a sweeping array of artworks by Raphael, Thomas Gainsborough, Pablo Picasso and Mark Rothko—is the most expensive estate the auctioneer has ever handled. If successful, Mr. Taubman’s estate could surpass Christie’s record-setting $477 million sale of designer Yves Saint Laurent’s estate six years ago. […]
The most valuable pieces in the roughly 500-piece estate, amassed over a half-century of collecting, will be offered in a Nov. 4 single-owner sale called “Masterworks,” with additional pieces included in sales of contemporary art, American art and Old Masters on Nov. 5, Nov. 18 and Jan. 27, 2016. […]
The priciest pieces in the estate are thought to be Picasso’s “Woman Seated in a Chair” from 1938; Willem de Kooning’s colorful abstract from 1976, “Untitled XXI”; and Modigliani’s 1919 view of a demure woman, “Portrait of Paulette Jourdain.” All three carry a low estimate of $25 million. A pair of Mark Rothko abstracts are each estimated to sell for at least $20 million. The Rothkos are “Untitled (Lavender and Green)” from 1952 and “No. 6 / Sienna Orange on Wine” from 1962.
Bloomberg got one of the better quotes from Sotheby’s Simon Shaw:
“He was a self-made man and his collection was put together with his own eye,” said Simon Shaw, co-head of Sotheby’s Impressionist and modern art department worldwide. “While he is a very well-known figure, he is not known as a collector. It will be a surprise for people.”
Alfred Taubman Record $500 Million Art Trove Lands at Sotheby’s (Bloomberg Business)