Christie’s auction network is auctioning off the estate of Paul Allen, who created the world’s most valuable private collection. All proceeds go to charity.
From the Renaissance to the present. Philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s portfolio consisted of works that could span 500 years on a timeline. Thus was the public auction a highly anticipated event among collectors, which began on November 9 and the second part continued the next day. Experts had already estimated in advance that total revenue would top a record $1 billion. The resulting figure began to rise slowly to 2 billion dollars and ended at 1.62 billion dollars, that is, 38.7 billion crowns.
Records were already running low during the first part of the auction, as they included works by Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. It was the first creator’s painting called Models of 1888 that became the main attraction of the evening, as it was auctioned in five minutes for 149 million dollars, more than 3.5 billion crowns. Works by the other aforementioned artists also crossed the hundred million mark.
“Never have two paintings sold at auction in one night exceeded $100 million, but today five paintings have exceeded that number,” said Max Carter, head of 20th and 21st century art at Christie’s. Auctioneers Adrien Meyer and Jussi Pylkkänen accepted bids from clients from nineteen countries during the auction. The entire event then drew 2.2 million viewers.
Even the exhibition that preceded the auction drew a record number of visitors, 20,000 in just ten days. Therefore, the auction was a record on several levels. The collection consists of 50 carefully selected works by masters from the Renaissance to the present day. Thus, some works were sold at three or four times the reserve price. For many artists, including Vincent van Gogh, Edward Steichen and Gustav Klimt, these were record sums for which their works were auctioned.
“A group of EduArt collectors and I went to see selected pieces from the Allen Collection that arrived in London as part of a pre-auction tour on October 14. From the composition of the guests who came to see the works, as well It was clear from Christie’s staff comments that this was a very extraordinary event, says Barbora Balbanova, who worked at Christie’s auction house in London and founded the EduArt Experience project in the Czech Republic.
According to Půlpánová, it is also significant that the Allen collection already took the lead in the middle of the auction, when all 60 items had been sold. During the second night of the auction, a sculpture by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen on a rubber typewriter, weighing about 4.5 tons, garnered the highest bid of $8.4 million. The painting Red Abstract No. 1 by American painter Sam Francis sold at auction for $6.7 million.
“We have the opportunity to see how the price of firearms increases over time. It can be assumed that this trend will continue for a while, based on the historical development of the art market in turbulent times,” adds Balbanova and gallery owner Matthias Ködl. . agrees with her: “The works in the Allen collection are of the highest art-historical standard, so it was clear that a historical-historical auction was going to take place. However, the overall result probably exceeded even the most wild expectations.” bold and confirms the strong dynamics of the global art market and the strong interest in it.
Allen passed away in 2018 at the age of 65 and spent decades building her collection. He devoted himself to art with great passion, at the stadium of the Seattle Seahawks club, which he owned, for example, and organized a huge festival and art exhibition in 2016, bringing together billionaires and art connoisseurs from all over the United States. . He also founded a prestigious private gallery, now called the Museum of Popular Culture, and regularly featured works from his collection in exhibitions around the world.
He also stipulated in his will that the proceeds of the sale would go to charity. Allen – like the other founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates – belongs to the business magnates who decided to donate a significant part of his fortune to charity.