Sotheby’s London Next Contemporary Art Sale is All About the Money, Literally

Andy Warhol One Dollar Bill (Silver Certificate)(1962) Photo: Sotheby's

Sotheby’s London next Contemporary Art Evening Auction, slated for July 1, is all about the big bucks—in more ways than one.

During the evening auction, 21 dollar-themed artworks from “an important private European collection” will hit the auction block, under the title “To The Bearer on Demand.

The sale includes seven “exceptionally rare masterworks by Andy Warhol,” which “chart his career in terms of his iconic obsession with the American dollar,” according to Sotheby’s (see A Constellation of Warhol Starlets at Fall Auctions and Rare Warhol Once Owned by U2 Hits Auction Block).

The auction features works focusing on the theme of money. Photo: Sotheby's

The auction features works focusing on the theme of money.
Photo: Courtesy Sotheby’s

“Money is one of the prevailing themes of Warhol’s work, and the relationship between art and commerce is becoming ever more important in today’s art market,” Sotheby’s contemporary art specialist James Sevier told the BBC.

“The dollar is more than just American currency, it is a symbol of aspiration, wealth, and glamour,” Sevier explained. “Interestingly [Warhol] looked at the one and two dollar bills, rather than the fifty or the hundred, because of their accessibility, like with the Campbell’s soup cans.”

Sevier announced that the collection features “the only hand-painted dollar painting” that Warhol ever made. One Dollar Bill (Silver Certificate) (1962) has a presale estimate between £13 million and £18 million ($19.8-27.5 million).

Andy Warhol Dollar Signs (1981)  Photo: Sotheby's

Andy Warhol Dollar Signs (1981)
Photo: Courtesy Sotheby’s

Warhol’s Front and Back Dollar Bills (1962-63) silkscreen, meanwhile, has a presale estimate between £12 million and £18 million ($18.3-27.5 million).

The sale also features works by Keith Haring, Joseph Beuys, and Tim Noble & Sue Webster.

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