A Formula One car driven by Ayrton Senna may fetch as much as 750,000 pounds ($1.2 million) next month as fans of the late racer vie with classic-car collectors.
The 1984 Toleman TG184-2 is scheduled to be the most valuable lot in a May 16 auction at Silverstone, the home of the British Grand Prix. The young Senna stormed to second place in the car behind Alain Prost in the rainy 1984 Monaco Grand Prix, having started at 17th on the grid. The movie of his life won the Sundance Film Festival audience award for documentary and the best documentary Bafta film award.
“Senna items got a real uplift from the film,” said Paul Campbell, auction manager at Silverstone Auctions. “They’re a reminder of the glory days of motor racing.”
While single-seat racers can have limited appeal, choosy classic-car buyers are drawn to vehicles with big-name provenances that are in original condition, dealers said.
The Brazilian driver went on to win three Formula One World Championships before a fatal crash in the San Marino Grand Prix in May 1994. His blue-and-white car is being sold by a group of four U.K.-based owners. They acquired it in 1994 from the Formula One driver Stefan Johansson, who also raced for the short-lived British Toleman Grand Prix team in the 1984 season. It is in original condition, though not in working order.
Silverstone’s inaugural event was held last summer. This latest sale is valued at between 2 million pounds and 2.5 million pounds. Other stand-out lots include an ex-Senna 1982 Ralt RT3 Formula Three car, priced at 110,000 pounds to 125,000 pounds, and a restored 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Touring, marked at 190,000 pounds to 210,000 pounds.
Kate Moss and Tracey Emin are among the celebrities donating artworks to charity auctions in London this month.
Emin, Antony Gormley, Anthony Caro and seven other artists have given a total of 15 pieces for a sale to benefit Crisis, a U.K. charity for single homeless people.
The auction at Christie’s International today is estimated to raise more than 450,000 pounds. Lead sponsor GlaxoSmithKline Plc paid for the costs of the artists exploring the theme of homelessness, said Crisis.
Emin contributed two neon works and two drawings, ranging in estimate from 20,000 pounds to 30,000 pounds.
The unique 2011 Gormley cast-iron sculpture, “Contract,” evoking the body of a rough sleeper, is the most highly valued work, estimated at 150,000 pounds to 200,000 pounds.
“The most challenging social sculpture of our times is made by the quiet performances of homeless people within the shelter provided by the doorways of the shops of our inner cities,” Gormley said in the auction catalog.
Moss will be seen in the more glamorous guise of a 21st-century mermaid on May 17 to benefit the U.K. children’s charity, the NSPCC.
The Norwegian fashion photographer Solve Sundsbo’s subsequent printed image of the British model in 2006, standing half-naked and cross-legged in a pair of gold hipster pants, is among 11 portraits being offered in a Bonhams photographs auction to benefit the organization.
From an edition of 10, it is valued at 3,000 pounds to 4,000 pounds.
The group also includes a portrait of Florence Welch, the lead singer of Florence + the Machine, and a portrait of Damien Hirst by David Bailey.
Art London has become a casualty of 2012’s increasingly crowded fair calendar.
The event in a temporary structure at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea, scheduled for October 4-8, has been canceled after the venue declined to renew the fair’s tenancy agreement after 2012.
“Once this became known, we were dead men walking,” Ralph Ward-Jackson, founder and chairman of Art London, said in an interview. “A fair without a venue is nothing. We’ve been looking for an alternative and just haven’t been able to find one.”
The Christopher Wren-designed Royal Hospital has a limited number of slots for such commercial events. The lavish Masterpiece art and antiques fair, which debuted at the venue in June, has gained precedence, Ward-Jackson said.
This year’s event would have taken place a week before the Frieze Art Fair, the debut edition of the Frieze Masters in Regent’s Park and the newly combined Pavilion of Art & Design London and LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair in Berkeley Square.
Art London dates back to 2003 and this year would have featured more than 70 galleries, mostly U.K.-based ones specializing in 20th- and 21st-century British art priced between 5,000 pounds and 20,000 pounds. Previous editions drew more than 16,000 visitors.
“All those are top-end fairs,” Robert Travers, director of the London-based Piano Nobile gallery, which has exhibited at both Masterpiece and Art London, said in an interview. “The lower end of the market is difficult at the moment.”
Meanwhile, collectors and dealers specializing in more cutting-edge contemporary art continue to look for works by new talents.
Last November, The Other Art Fair at The Bargehouse on London’s south bank allowed emerging artists to show their work directly to the public and to scouting dealers.
A second, expanded edition will be held in the warehouse-like space of Ambika P3 at the University of Westminster from May 10 to May 13. Participants have been selected by the light artist Chris Levine, writer and curator Francesca Gavin and the dealer and curator Kenny Schachter.
(Scott Reyburn writes about the art market for Muse, the arts and culture section of Bloomberg News. Opinions expressed are his own.)
Today’s Muse highlights include: Farah Nayeri on London weekend, Rich Jaroslovsky on technology.