Warhol’s Elvis and Brando Will Hit the Auction Block This Fall

Two expected blockbusters at Christie's: Andy Warhol's Triple Elvis [Ferus Type] (1963) and Four Marlons (1966). Each are estimated around $70 million.
Photo: Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd.

A report by Carol Vogel in the New York Times revealed Christie’s blockbuster consignment for the New York fall auctions in November of two of Andy Warhol’s most-prized works, silkscreen paintings of Elvis Presley and Marlon Brando. Though each is estimated around $70 million, contemporary department head Brett Gorvy opines that they could potentially break the $100 million mark, and even Warhol’s current record of $104.5 million for Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster). In addition to packing a celebrity punch with these two entertainment icons—Elvis in a cowboy stance pointing a gun and Brando in a shot from the film The Wild One—the works have a sterling provenance and have never been offered at auction before.

Since the late 1970s, the works Triple Elvis [Ferus Type] (1963) and Four Marlons (1966) had been hanging in a casino in Aachen, Germany, one of a chain owned by WestSpiel, a German-government controlled company. Apparently dealers and auction experts have known about and had their eyes on the works for years, according to the report. They were bought from powerhouse Swiss dealer Thomas Amman in the late ’70s for $85,000 for the Elvis and $100,000 for the Brando.

Gorvy said he is counting on significant bidding from Asian buyers, who have been active in the Warhol market for several years now, as well as from “serious collectors in America.”

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