Playboy Art Sale Brings In $2.9 Million
The expected top lot was an oil painting of of a scarlet-lipstick mouth by pop artist Tom Wesselmann. "Mouth No. 8" sold for nearly $1.9 million against estimates of $2 million to $3 million. The Dali watercolor sold for more than $266,000 beating estimates of $100,000 to $150,000. The sale brought in a total of $2,903,437 (including buyer's premium). Herb Ritts photographs of Stephanie Seymour, Cindy Crawford and Elle MacPherson also sold well. A Herb Davidson portrait of Hef himself sold for $6,000 against the estimate of $5,000 - $7,000.
This is the second time Christie's has sold items from Playboy. Playboy celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2003 with an auction of memorabilia and ephemera from Playboy's collection. The art represents just a small amount of the Playboy Art Collection which has an archive of 5,000 contemporary artworks and more than 20 million photographs.