Harry and Linda Macklowe’s $1.3 billion divorce sale makes art collection most valuable ever

Drager decided that Linda could keep more than half of the artwork, worth a total of just under $40 million, since the coin valuations on both sides were relatively aligned. The rest accounted for most of the collection’s value, but the pair disputed its value – Linda argued it was worth $625 million, Harry argued it was worth $788 million. So Drager ordered it to be sold: only the market, she wrote, could determine its true value. “Furthermore,” Drager added, “the sale will provide each party with the cash necessary for each of them to enjoy their lifestyle.”

Real estate developer Harry Macklowe in Midtown Manhattan in September 2005 NYT

Top prizes

After Monday night, there is plenty of money to support their way of life.

The 30 lots carried a total estimate of $167.6 million to $236.4 million. (Estimates are for the price at which auctions close, or what’s called the hammer. But the amounts reported here are what buyers paid in total, which includes auction house fees known as the name of the buyer’s premiums.These can add between 13.9% and 25% cents (the higher the price, the lower the premium) to the total sum.

The most expensive lot in the sale was a brooding painting by Mark Rothko from 1960. Painted in an array of dark reds and maroons on a blue background, the couple acquired the painting in 1983, according to the auction house. Estimated between $35 and $50 million, auctioneer Oliver Barker started bidding at $30 million on Monday night and slowly increased it in $500,000 increments to a hammer of $41.5 million. of dollars. With bonuses, it came to $48 million.

Other major lots include Gerhard Richter’s massive 1975 painting Seascape, which sold for $30.2 million, exactly within its $25-35 million estimate, a self-portrait of Andy Warhol from 1986, estimated at $15-20 million, which sold for $18.7 million, and a “blackboard” painting by Cy Twombly, Synopsis of a 1960 Battle.

Estimated between $12 and $18 million, bidding started at $10 million and never really took off; he hammered in $13 million, or $15.3 million with bonuses.

It was a successful if not dazzling evening sale for Sotheby’s, and the first of a week of auctions in which it hopes to sell some $1.18 billion worth of artwork. Next is its Modern Evening Auction, where 61 scheduled lots are expected to sell for $443.4 million.


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