Royal Wedding Spoof Photos, Lehman’s Last Paintings on Sale

Wedding Spoof
A spoof royal wedding photo by Alison Jackson is part of the show "Up the Aisle" at Ben Brown Fine Arts in Brook's Mews, Mayfair. Photographer: Alison Jackson/Ben Brown Fine Arts via Bloomberg

London art dealer Ben Brown puts photos of the Royal Wedding up for sale today. In one, Prince William is leading a conga dance, followed by his bride Kate and Elton John. In another, the happy couple cut the cake while Corgi dogs forage for food and Queen Elizabeth looks bored.

The spoofs of the April 29 wedding feature lookalikes photographed by Alison Jackson, who has fooled many people with her paparazzi-style photos of celebrity doppelgangers, often in compromising situations.

“This is a last-minute pop-up event,” gallery director Brown said. “It’s poignant to exhibit these before the wedding.”

Large photographs, from editions of three, will be priced at 15,000 pounds ($24,480). Smaller images, issued in editions of five, will start at 2,500 pounds.

The “Up the Aisle” show runs through May 7 at Ben Brown Fine Arts, 12 Brook’s Mews, London W1K 4DG. Information: +44-20-7734-8888 or

Lehman Art

Those looking for souvenirs of the global financial crisis today got one more chance to buy artworks from the corporate collection of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

Edinburgh auction house Lyon & Turnbull offered 22 contemporary pieces from the bankrupt bank’s European offices with a total estimate of as much as 47,000 pounds at hammer prices. The sale raised 45,425 pounds with fees. Six of the lots failed to sell.

Many of the works on offer were large scale, Nick Curnow, Lyon & Turnbull’s managing director, said. Estimates ranged from 300 pounds to 8,000 pounds.

The top lot was the 2006 photographic piece, “Picture Made by Hand With the Assistance of Light,” by the U.K.-born artist Walead Beshty, who now lives in Los Angeles. This sold for 18,750 pounds, beating a high estimate of 8,000 pounds. The work, which is 6 feet (1.8 meters) high, was made by bending photographic paper into a sculpture and then exposing it to light.

A 2001 watercolor of a landscape seen through prison bars by the German painter Guenther Foerg sold for 1,875 pounds, below an estimate of 3,000 pounds.

Once the world’s fourth-biggest investment bank, New York- based Lehman filed the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history on Sept. 15, 2008, with assets of $639 billion. More than $830 billion in claims have been filed against Lehman, which has said many are duplicates.

Sales at Freeman’s Auctioneers in Philadelphia, Sotheby’s in New York and Christie’s International in London raised $1.35 million, $12.3 million and 1.6 million pounds, respectively, for creditors in 2009 and 2010.

Pearson Family

Paintings and antiques belonging to members of the family that founded media group Pearson Plc are expected to fetch at least 10 million pounds in auctions this summer.

Lord Cowdray will be offering five British portraits at Christie’s International’s July 5 London auction of Old Master paintings.

Thomas Gainsborough’s “Portrait of Miss Read, Later Mrs. William Villebois,” is estimated at a record 4 million pounds to 6 million pounds. A further 1,000 lots -- including pieces from Dunecht, the Scottish home of Lord Cowdray’s brother, Charles Pearson -- will be auctioned at Cowdray Park, West Sussex, on Sept. 13-15, the London-based auction house said today in an e-mailed statement.

A 1611 portrait of the Countess of Hertford may fetch 1.5 million pounds. Lord Cowdray will also be selling silver valued at more than 1 million pounds at Christie’s London on July 7.

Cowdray Park, which is now itself up for sale for 25 million pounds, was acquired by Weetman Dickinson Pearson, the first Lord Cowdray, a Yorkshire-born engineer and oil magnate, in 1908. The present family is moving to a more manageable house on the estate, said Christie’s.

“This is the most important group of British portraits to come on the market for 50 years,” the London-based dealer Mark Weiss said. “The collection was put together in the 1920s and ’30s when a lot of country houses were being sold and the rich were able to Hoover up the best things.”

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

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