Most valuable ever art collection sells at Sotheby’s for $922.2 million (£741.9 million)

Since 2016, billionaire real estate tycoon Harry Macklowe and his ex-wife Linda Burg have feuded in court over assets during their contentious divorce proceedings. Disagreeing on the value of their impressive art collection, the couple were ordered to sell off the coveted trove. Sotheby’s have now auctioned all 65 artworks for a staggering $922.2 million (£741.9 million) in total, making it the most valuable private collection ever sold at auction.

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Sotheby's, London

The “ancestor of the NFT”: one of Yves Klein’s empty zones comes up for sale

During the final three years of his life, French conceptual artist Yves Klein (1928-1962) created nine “empty zones” (invisible and intangible areas of empty space existing only in conceptual terms) which could only be purchased with pure gold. The buyer was then presented with a receipt, which could either be set on fire in a ritual between artist and owner, or preserve it, meaning that the immaterial purchase would be transferrable. One of these receipts is now coming up for sale at Sotheby’s, and its similarities to the modern-day NFT are so notable that Sotheby’s are going so far as to accept not pure gold, but cryptocurrency for it.

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Botticelli just makes anticipated amount at Sotheby’s auction, whilst other old masters exceed expectations

Last week saw Sotheby’s sale of old master paintings bringing in a staggering total of $91 million (with buyer’s fees). Despite this being a considerable sum, it is in fact lower than the equivalent sale last year at Sotheby’s, which made $114.5 million. The auction included the much anticipated sale of Sandro Botticelli’s The Man of Sorrows (circa 1500) which, it was revealed earlier this month through the use of technical analysis, has a hidden composition of a Madonna and Child underneath.

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Constable painting up for auction with an estimate of £3-5million after being sold as a copy for £40,000 last year

An oil painting by the English Romantic landscape painter John Constable (1776-1837) sold in an auction in Cincinnati, Ohio, last year as a copy, making £40,000 against a pre-sale estimate of only $1,000-2,000. It has now been authenticated as being a genuine Constable. It will be sold in Sotheby’s Old Master Paintings December sale with an impressive estimate of £3-5 million.

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Frida Kahlo self-portrait smashes auction record set by adulterous husband Diego Rivera

Frida Kahlo’s (1907-1954) intimate oil painting has sold for a staggering $34.9 million (£25.9 million) at Sotheby’s New York, setting a new auction record for the most expensive artwork by a Latin American artist. It is significant as one of her final self-portraits, which candidly reveals the artist’s distress over her husband Diego Rivera’s (1886-1957) public affair with friend and famed actress Maria Félix (1914-2002).

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Maro Itoje scores a try at Sotheby’s with his guest curation of Contemporary African art

Professional rugby player Maro Itoje has ventured into the contemporary art auction world, with his guest curation of the upcoming ‘Contemporary Curated’ sale at Sotheby’s London. Itoje is one of English rugby’s biggest stars: he is blindside flanker for English Championship club Saracens and the England National team, and has won three European Rugby Champions Cups with his club, and three Six Nations titles with England, as well as being named European player of the year in 2016. However, Itoje is by no means only absorbed in the world of rugby. He has a keen interest in art, particularly contemporary Nigerian art, so his involvement in Sotheby’s upcoming contemporary auction seems the perfect fit.

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