Eric Clapton Flips Cy Twombly

Eric ClaptonPhoto via: Guitar World
Eric Clapton
Photo via: Guitar World

British rock legend Eric Clapton is selling Cy Twombly‘s Crimes of Passion I (1960). The painting will go under the hammer next week during Sotheby’s London Contemporary Art Evening Auction, and comes with a presale estimate of £4-6 million.

Clapton hasn’t hold on to the Twombly masterpiece for long. The guitar hero purchased it in November 2012 at Sotheby’s New York—but then again, it looks like Clapton has become a very astute market player.

In 2012, during London’s Frieze Week, Clapton sold Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild (809-4) (1994) for a whopping £21.3 million, way beyond its £9-12 million estimate. The hammer price not only set a new auction record for the artist at the time, but it also turned out to be 30 times the price that Clapton had paid for the piece when he bought it in 2001, alongside two other Ritchers, Bloomberg reports.

Since founding the rehab facility Crossroads Centre in 1998, Clapton—a former addict himself—has held three auctions of guitars from his personal collection in order to raise money to run the charity’s program.

The Daily Mail reports that, in the last two decades, Clapton has fundraised up £10 million thanks to the sale of some of his most beloved and iconic guitars, including a 1956 Fender Stratocaster which sold for £600,000 in 2004 at Christie’s New York. The instrument, also known as “Blackie,” became the most expensive guitar in the world until 2013, when Bob Dylan sold one of his guitars for £635,000.


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