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Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Is A Warhol ‘Soup Can’ worth 30-50 million?

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In the 48 years since it was executed Big Campbell's Soup Can with Can Opener (Vegetable) has only had three private owners. The New York collectors, Burton and Emily Tremaine bought the painting directly from Warhol’s Factory in 1962 and sold it, in the late 1970s to Ted Ashley, the former chairman of Warner Brothers. In 1986, Christie’s sold it to British Art dealer, James Mayer for a paltry $264,000. It was than sold on to its present owner, Cruise line and property Venture Capitalist, Barney Ebsworth. The painting is now being offered at Christie’s New York on 10 November for a price on application estimate of 30-50 million dollars. The proceeds will go to building a church in the Seattle area.
Is this a ridiculous price tag for a transitional work by an artist who died in 1987? If so it is not a one off, there is currently a ‘Bull Market’ eager to purchase important works of post war contemporary art.  Let us not forget Sothebys over hyped “Walking Man” sculpture by Giacometti’s which sold for a record $104.3 million last February, to a collector most likely unaware that there were six other casts of the figure produced. If ‘Big Campbell Soup Can actually reaches its reserve. It will join other Warhol’s such as ‘Car Crash Green’ which sold for $71.7 million in 2007 and Tom Ford’s so called, ‘Warhol in A Fright Wig,’ a ghastly late canvas which realized $32.5 million.  Read More

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