If you want art with an unique history, go to Freeman's auction house in Philadelphia tomorrow. More than 200 contemporary and modern art pieces formerly owned by Lehman Brothers will be going under the gavel. The efforts of David Hockney, Robert Indiana, Frank Stella and Roy Lichtenstein will be represented at the auction. The collection is valued at between $500,000 and $750,000, and most of the lots do not have reserve prices. Those that do (there are only around a dozen) only have minimums of $10,000.
This is an auction that's sparked some interest among art collectors.
Anne Henry, vice president of Freeman's, told The Associated Press, "Our phones have been ringing off the hook," continuing, "The pieces are interesting, in great condition and appeal to all kinds of collectors." Specific lots include an Alexander Calder print estimated at $800 to $1,200, a set of nine Walker Evans photographs which are estimated at $1,000 to $1,500 and a Roy Lichtenstein print of the Statue of Liberty, which is expected to go for between $15,000 and $25,000.
Lehman Brothers didn't get much time to enjoy the pieces it purchased. Some were acquired only a few months before the storied investment bank collapsed in September 2008, crushed by the weight of $600 billion of debt.
Of course, this auction pales in comparison to that of former Lehman CEO Richard Fuld. He sold 16 pieces at a Christie's auction last year, bringing in only $13.5 million, nowhere close to the $20 million estimate.
If you can't make tomorrow's auction, Freeman's will be holding two more: one for paintings and sculpture on December 6, 2009 and a no-reserve auction of 450 prints on February 12, 2010.