SOTHEBY’S staged the most lucrative art sale ever in the Netherlands on March 8 when they offered a 161-lot selection of contemporary art from the corporate collection of British American Tobacco.
In their first auction in Amsterdam of 2010, Sotheby's saw 157
lots sell for a hammer total of 11.3m euros (£10.8m), well above
the 4.36m-6.28m euros pre-sale estimate.
The collection itself was well known in the Netherlands. Started
in the late 1950s by Alexander Orlow, then managing director of
Turmac Tobacco Company in the Netherlands (part of the Rothmans
Group), the purpose of the collection was to inspire factory
workers by being displayed on the walls of the company's the
Previously known as The Peter Stuyvesant Collection (Peter
Stuyvesant was a brand of cigarettes named after the Dutch governor
of New York), the collection, which now numbers over 1000 works,
became part of BAT after the London-based tobacco giant merged with
Rothmans International in 2000.
The top lot of the sale was Martin Kippenberger's (1953-1997)
Dinosaurierei, an oil on canvas from 1996 that made
€900,000 (£857,140) against a 200,000-300,000 euros estimate.
It was from one of the artist's most iconic series of Egg
Paintings and was one of the last masterpieces he completed before
his untimely death at the age of 44 the following year.
By Alex Capon
£1= 1.05 Euros