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Displaying items by tag: a. alfred taubman

It was a somewhat rocky start to the New York sales Wednesday night at Sotheby’s, as the lots from the estate of its former owner A. Alfred Taubman—breathlessly hyped due to the $500 million guarantee plunked down by the house to win it from its arch-rival Christie’s—often sold at below or barely over their low estimates, with some big-ticket lots not selling at all. The final total came to $377 million, inching past the low estimate for the sale by a few million and casting doubts on whether the auction giant can make back its record investment with the rest of the Taubman sales.

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A. Alfred Taubman, the late billionaire developer and former owner of Sotheby’s auction house, was a boundless art collector whose taste spanned every period, genre and medium, from works of antiquity to contemporary art.

In advance of a series of sales of his 500-piece collection — believed to be worth more than $500 million — Sotheby’s has transformed its building inside and out to give a real sense of its depth and scope.

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Christie's and Sotheby's jump-started the fall season last week with announcements of respective blockbuster consignments including a $100 million Modigliani nude and the roughly $500 million collection of illustrious former Sotheby's chairman A. Alfred Taubman's estate.

According to the 8-K SEC filing Sotheby's made on September 9, the publicly traded auction house is betting big on the $500 million Taubman collection, having given estate overseer and Taubman's son Robert a financial guarantee "for the collection at approximately that level." The SEC Filing was first flagged by the Art Market Monitor's Marion Maneker in a post this morning.

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Supporters of the Detroit Institute of Arts reacted with dismay Thursday to Sotheby’s announcement that it will auction A. Alfred Taubman’s legendary art collection, as that means it will not go to the museum.

Sotheby’s statement said the 500-plus works “valued in excess of $500 million” will be on the block in four auctions starting Nov. 4 in New York. The news release called it “the most valuable private collection ever offered at auction.”

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