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  • Mark Birley collection auction totals $5.9m
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • auctionBirleycollectionMark

Mark Birley collection auction totals $5.9m

Considered among the 20th century's most stylish men; the Mark Birley private collection auctioned at Sotheby's London yesterday (March 21), bringing £3.9m ($5.9m) - more than twice presale expectations.

Mark Birley auction results
Natalia Goncharova’s circa 1913 sketch sold with a 398.1% increase on its high estimate

From the 12 different collecting areas on offer, Natalia Goncharova's circa 1913 sketch of the Queen of Shamakhan from the Ballet Russes emerged as the surprise top lot, bringing £398,500 ($605,168) - a 398.1% increase on the work's $80,000 top estimate.

A signed David Hockney sketch of Hockney's beloved Dachshund, Boodgie, completed circa 1993, also put in a strong performance, selling with a 780.5% increase on its £18,000 top estimate for £158,500 ($240,609).

Another canine lot, Nicola Hicks' diminutive bronze sculpture Portrait of Jack, had been given a conservative £4,000 estimate by the auction house. It sold for £17,500 ($26,568) - a trend that continued throughout the sale.

Mark Birley auction results
Nicola Hicks’ bronze Portrait of Jack sold among a glut of canine lots

Birley (1930-2007) is famed for having founded the illustrious Annabel's nightclub in Mayfair in 1962. The private members' club catered to an exclusive and often aristocratic clientele, with the eccentric British entrepreneur its consummate figure head.

Henry Wyndham, chairman of Sotheby's Europe, comments: "Mark's style and way of life has an appeal which has resonated not just in London and among the clientele of his famed clubs, but also with people who may not have known him but are nonetheless inspired by his timeless elegance."

Following his death in 2007, the collection - largely the contents of his long term London residence, Thurloe Lodge - passed to his daughter India Jane.

It was Jane who instigated the sale, the proceeds of which are to be placed in trust for her seven year old son, Eben.

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  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • auctionBirleycollectionMark