Art Collection of Legendary Dealer Leslie Waddington to Be Auctioned at Christie’s London

The influential British dealer passed away last November, at the age of 81.

Leslie Waddington.Courtesy of Waddington Custom Galleries.
Leslie Waddington.
Courtesy of Waddington Custom Galleries.

The collection of the legendary art dealer Leslie Waddington, who passed away last November at the age of 81, will be offered for sale as a single-owner auction at Christie’s London during Frieze Week in October 2016.

One of the most influential art dealers of modern times in the UK, Waddington left a huge mark in the history of patronage and collecting, which is evident in the richness of his collection. With his impressive expertise he shaped the London art scene, long before the art world’s rise in popularity.

The collection features key 20th century artists, such as Josef Albers, Alexander Calder, Milton Avery, Agnes Martin, Francis Picabia, and Jean Dubuffet, all of which will be included in the sale.

Jean Dubuffet, Visiteur au chapeau bleu avril 195, 1955. Courtesy of Christie's London.

Jean Dubuffet, Visiteur au chapeau bleu avril 1955 (1955). Courtesy of Christie’s London.

The centerpiece of the sale is a textured canvas by Jean Dubuffet, produced during his stay in the south of France, titled Visiteur au chapeau bleu avril 1955 (1955), which has a presale estimate of £2,000,000-3,000,000 ($2,636,023-3,954,034).

Holding the auction during Frieze Week seems appropriate, as Waddington was one of the earliest supporters of the Frieze fair. The auction will serve as one of the highlights of Christie’s programme during the busy week—London’s most important one in the art calendar—featuring work by 23 artists from Waddington’s collection.

Top lots for the auction include Francis Picabia’s painting Lampe (1923), which has a presale estimate of £800,000-1,500,000 ($1,055,294-1,978,063), Agnes Martin’s Praise (1988), estimated between £2,000,000-3,000,000 ($2,636,023-3,954,034), and Alexander Calder’s rare wall mounted mobile Le serpent rouge (1958), which has a similar estimate as Martin’s piece.


”It is a privilege to be offering works from the private collection of Leslie Waddington here at Christie’s in October. The art dealer who pioneered contemporary art in London, long before the proliferation of galleries and art institutions in the city, Leslie introduced the art world to artists from Jean Dubuffet to Patrick Caulfield, bringing the British and European aesthetic to America for the first time, and American Abstract Expressionism to London,” Jussi Pylkkänen, global president of Christie’s said in a statement.

“Leslie was generous with his advice to the younger generation and many people in the London art world, including myself, benefited from his wisdom over the years,” Pylkkänen added.

Francis Picabia, Lampe, 1923. Courtesy of Christie's London.

Francis Picabia, Lampe (1923). Courtesy of Christie’s London.

The auction will take place on October 4, 2016 at Christie’s London, and will be available for preview at Christie’s King Street from September 23- October 4, 2016.


Follow artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
  • Access the data behind the headlines with the artnet Price Database.

Share