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Sotheby’s to Sell 20 Million Pound Gunter Sachs Collection

"Brigitte Bardot" by Andy Warhol. The 1974 silkscreen sold in an auction of the Gunter Sachs Collection by Sotheby’s in London on May 22-23. It fetched 3 million pounds ($4.7 million). Source: Sotheby's via Bloomberg.

The art collection of the late Gunter Sachs, the German multimillionaire who was once married to Brigitte Bardot, will be sold at a May auction in London.

The 300 items, ranging from Pop Art works to Art Deco furniture, will be offered on May 22-23 and are expected to raise more than 20 million pounds ($31 million), New York-based Sotheby’s said today in a statement.

The sale will include the Andy Warhol silkscreen paintings “Flowers,” dating from 1964-65, and his 1974 portrait of Bardot, based on a photo by Richard Avedon. Both are estimated at 3 million pounds to 4 million pounds.

Sachs committed suicide at his chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland, at the age of 78, in May 2011.

Bardot became the second of Sach’s three wives in 1966. The German auto heir and ex-bobsleigh champion courted the actress by flying over her Cote d’Azur home, La Madrague, in a helicopter and bombing it with red roses. The couple divorced three years later.

Warhol’s painting of Bardot, commissioned by Sachs, was based on a 1959 Avedon picture of the French actress. One of the 35 original silver prints of the image is included in the sale, priced at 40,000 pounds to 60,000 pounds.

Andy’s Wig

Sachs became a friend of Warhol after the two met in St. Tropez in the early 1960s. Sachs organized an exhibition for the artist at his own gallery in Hamburg in 1972. As none of the works sold on the opening night, Sachs bought half the show to save his friend’s embarrassment, said Sotheby’s. Warhol’s 1986 pink “Fright Wig,” one of the artist’s last self-portraits, is valued at 2 million pounds to 3 million pounds.

Many of the Pop Art works in the auction were acquired in the late 1960s and early 1970s, either directly from the artists or commissioned by Sachs to decorate his apartment in St. Moritz, where he founded the Dracula Club. His bedroom at the ski resort was furnished with a complete set of Allen Jones mannequin furniture from 1969. Comprising a chair, table and hat stand, these are valued at 30,000 pounds to 40,000 pounds each.

(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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