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David Bowie’s design and art collection goes to auction tomorrow


Ettore Sottsass: Casablanca minature. Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s is staging Bowie/Collector, a three-part sale of 350 art and design items from David Bowie’s personal collection, from 10 – 11 November. An exhibition of the full collection is on show at the auction house until midday Thursday. 

The sale includes over 200 works by some of the most influential artists of the 20th Century, such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Frank Auerbach and Henry Moore, as well as less well known artists in Bowie’s collections of Outsider, Surrealist and contemporary African art. There’s also some Picasso painted plates, a Man Ray chess set, a cast metal head by Eduardo Paolozzi, a Marcel Duchamp painting and Erich Heckel woodcuts. 

In a dedicated sale of product and furniture design by Ettore Sottsass and the Memphis Group, lots include Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni’s Radio-Phonograph; Sottsass’ iconic Casablanca sideboard (and a miniature version valued between £300 – £500); and a number of pieces from celebrated Memphis designers Matteo Thun, Peter Shire, Nathalie Du Pasquier and Michele De Lucchi.

“Bowie’s diverse tastes nurtured his extensive archive of important works from celebrated, and less widely-known, artists in a collection of unparalleled eclecticism,” Sotheby’s says.

Basquiat’s Air Power is the top lot, estimated to be sold for £2.5m – £3.5m, while a Damien Hirst piece made with David Bowie, titled Beautiful, Hallo, Space-Boy Painting is valued at £250,000 – £350,000. In total the collection is valued at £10m.

The exhibition is free to attend, taking place at the auction house’s New Bond Street, London gallery until 10 November. The auctions on Thursday and Friday are ticketed events but offer online, absentee and telephone bidding. 


Jean-Michel Basquiat: Air Power. Courtesy of Sotheby’s


Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni: Radio-Phonograph. Courtesy of Sotheby’s


Damien Hirst with David Bowie: Beautiful, Hallo, Space-Boy Painting. Courtesy of Sotheby’s


Nathalie du Pasquier: Riviera carpet. Courtesy of Sotheby’s


Frank Auerbach: To The Studios. Courtesy of Sotheby’s


Man Ray: chess set. Courtesy of Sotheby’s