Lehman Seeking to Hire Sotheby's to Auction Art by Rauschenberg, Ruscha

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., the investment bank liquidating in bankruptcy, asked a judge for approval to hire Sotheby’s to sell off an art collection at a public auction in September, according to court filings.

Lehman and its affiliate James Ross LLC own about 447 artworks, including works by Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha and Cy Twombly, according to a filing yesterday in federal bankruptcy court in Manhattan. All of the items in the collection owned by Lehman are valued at less than $300,000, the filing says.

Sotheby’s commissions would be added on to the prices paid by buyers, rather than being paid by Lehman, the filing said. Lehman will receive 100 percent of the so-called “hammer price” plus an undisclosed consignment fee that comes out of prices paid by buyers.

The case is In re Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., 08-13555, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net.

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