Co-founder of Microsoft Paul Allen's art exhibition delivers a record with a $1.5 billion auction

Microsoft founder Paul Allen's art exhibition hits record $1.5 billion

November 11, 2022: -On Wednesday, Christie’s is selling 60 works from the Paul G. Allen Collection for more than $1.5 billion, as wealthy collectors nearly the world shrugged off economic and crypto are tensed to invest in trophy artworks.

Five paintings are breaking the $100 million mark, which includes the night’s top seller Georges Seurat’s “Les Poseuses, Ensemble,” which is for $149.2 million. A few works are selling for three or four times their estimates, with every artist setting recent records at auction, which include Vincent van Gogh, Edward Steichen, and Gustav Klimt.

The sale of $1.506 billion shattered the last record for the most expensive collection, set by the Harry and Linda Macklowe collection is auctioning at Sotheby’s for $922 million. The sales complete for the Allen collection will increase even higher on Thursday when one more 95 lots head to auction.

The flurry of eight- and nine-figure sales suggests that the global rich still experience masterpiece art as a hedge against inflation and even a safer store of value than surging volatile stocks and cryptocurrencies. The sale came on a similar day when the Dow decreased more than 600 points, and bitcoin decreased to its lowest level since November 2020.

The collection of Paul Allen, the ex-co-founder of Microsoft, was a treasure trove of masterpieces that spams 500 years. All the proceeds will go to charity since Allen is signing the Giving Pledge promising to leave nearly half his fortune to charity.

Allen’s keen eye for great art made for great investments. He got Gustav Klimt’s “Birch Forest” for $40 million in 2006, and it sold for $104 million.

Paul Cezanne’s “La Montagne Sainte-Victoire” sells for $137.8 million. Vincent van Gogh’s “Verger Avec Cypres” is dealing for $117 million and set a recent record for van Gogh at auction, in the previous set in 1990.

Lucian Freud’s “Large Interior, W11,” considered one of his most enormous masterpieces, selling for $86.3 million. One of Claude Monet’s “Waterloo Bridge” paintings is gone for $64.5 million.

Bidding was intense across the globe, with Christie’s specialists, who bid on the phone on clients in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the U.S. Many works sold for different of their estimates. A popular photo by Edward Steichen of New York’s Flatiron building is selling for $11.8 million, which makes it the second-most expensive photograph ever sold and hits the $2 million to $3 million estimate.

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