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Jerry Hall, English Duke to Sell Art as Prices Rise

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Poussin Picture ``Ordination''
The "Ordination," a painting by Nicolas Poussin. The work was estimated at as much as 20 million pounds ($31.5 million), at Christie's International on Dec. 7, 2010, and failed to sell. Source: Christie's via Bloomberg

Sept. 6 (Bloomberg) -- American model Jerry Hall and an English aristocrat are among high-profile sellers at the forthcoming season of art auctions in London as dealers said that rising prices were encouraging sales.

David Manners, 51, the 11th Duke of Rutland, is offering a painting by the 17th-century French artist Nicolas Poussin. The work is expected to fetch as much as 20 million pounds ($31 million) at a Christie’s International auction in December, the company said in an e-mail today. Hall, the former wife of Mick Jagger, has entered 14 lots into the Sotheby’s contemporary sales in October to coincide with the Frieze Art Fair.

“It’s about letting go of the past,’’ Hall, 54, said in an e-mailed statement. “At a certain age, you just want to get rid of things. It’s good to be in the moment and change.”

Famous collectors and aristocratic owners are acting as demand for high-quality art picks up. In July, two paintings from the collection of the Spencer family raised 14.2 million pounds at Christie’s.

Hall is selling works by Lucian Freud, Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Frank Auerbach, estimated at 1.5 million pounds or more, the New York-based company said today in an e-mail.

The group includes Freud’s 1997 oil-on-canvas, “Eight Months Gone,’’ depicting Hall reclining nude while pregnant with her fourth child, Gabriel. The artist suggested painting the portrait after meeting Hall at a dinner party. The canvas was given to her after she posed three times a week during the month before the birth, said Sotheby’s. It will be offered at an evening auction on Oct. 15 with an estimate of 300,000 pounds to 400,000 pounds.

Warhol’s Dollars

An Andy Warhol acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas “Dollar Sign’’ that was given and dedicated to Hall by the artist in 1982 is expected to fetch as much as 150,000 pounds. The model was a companion of Warhol and his occasional employee while living in New York during the 1970s. She had a stint hosting Warhol’s cable TV show.

“Andy only had two rules for me,’’ Hall said. “He said never ask them about their work and never ask them anything important. So, for example, I’d ask them what they had for breakfast.’’

The most highly estimated work in the Hall consignment is the 1965 Auerbach canvas, “Head of Helen Gillespie IV,’’ acquired by the model in 1997. The thickly impasted oil portrait is expected to fetch as much as 900,000 pounds, said Sotheby’s.

Poussin’s Christ

Poussin’s “Ordination” is a scene showing Jesus Christ handing the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven to Peter while watched by the other disciples. The work was one of a group of five that hung in the Duke of Rutland’s ancestral home -- Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire -- for more than 200 years and will be sold on Dec. 7, London-based Christie’s said.

“The proceeds released from the sale will enable us to realize our core aims of securing the restoration and long-term preservation of Belvoir Castle and Estate,” the trustees said in a statement. “Following the successful sale of ‘Ordination,’ it is our hope that the four remaining paintings will go back on public display at the National Gallery in London,” they said.

The Poussin painting, with a lower estimate of 15 million pounds, is one of five that survive of the seven “Sacraments” painted by the artist in the 1630s and 1640s in Rome for the collector Cassiano dal Pozzo.

The complete series was acquired by the fourth Duke of Rutland in 1785. “Penance” was destroyed by fire in 1816. “Baptism” was acquired by the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., in 1946, said Christie’s.

Another set of Poussin “Sacraments,” dating from the 1640s, is on loan from the collection of the Dukes of Sutherland at the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh.

(Scott Reyburn writes about the art market for Muse, the arts and culture section of Bloomberg News. Opinions expressed are his own.)

To contact the writer on the story: Scott Reyburn in London at sreyburn@hotmail.com.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Beech at mbeech@bloomberg.net.

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