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John Lennon auction a huge success

Now that we’ve just about come back to earth after our fascinating visit to New York for the Lennon auction, we thought you may be interested to see the results of this exciting sale: John Lennon ‘You Might Well Arsk’ Original Drawings & Manuscripts held at Sotheby’s on 4th June, 2014 – which totalled $2.9 million – making double the high estimate.

We were delighted, but not surprised, that the sale was 100% sold, which is referred to by Sotheby’s as a ‘white glove sale’, the first of the 2014 season for Sotheby’s New York.

W&H have been working with Tom Maschler and his collection for some considerable time. It has been so much part of all of our lives, it made it all the more rewarding that the sale did so well. We sat with Tom Maschler in the saleroom, and when the first 32 lots sold either at top estimate or just above, we were beginning to think that this would be the pattern for the sale. However, at lot 33 To my surprise the lady, got up – and flew away – things changed. From that moment on, the sale, like the lady – flew! Tom said to us afterwards, with a twinkle in his eye: “I thought your estimates were pretty good up until lot 33 then you lost your touch!”

The auction and view were held on the seventh floor of Sotheby’s impressive York Avenue building. The view, like the travelling exhibition in Sotheby’s London, was beautifully displayed. Each drawing and the majority of manuscripts were custom mounted and framed, sympathetically hung and beautifully lit.  As is the norm for Sotheby’s New York auctions, the room itself on the day was not over-crowded, however there were a significant number of online bidders and, as well as numerous commission bids, there was also competition from telephone bidders, several of whom appeared to stay on the phone for much of the sale.  As the sale progressed, bidding became noticeably more competitive as bidders became increasingly anxious to secure one of the 89 lots on offer. The auction was taken by the appropriately named Ben Dollar, who seemed to enjoy the competitive atmosphere, and whose banter with the phone bidders amused those in the room.  Immediately after the sale, Mr Dollar was presented with a pair of white gloves, signifying that the sale was 100% sold.

Tom Maschler always felt that while Lennon’s writing was feted by the critics, his art had always been underrated. We are delighted that the prices achieved at this auction have effectively redressed this balance.

For more information see Sotheby’s post sale release – John Lennon Sale 100% Sold At Sotheby’s New York.

Left to right: Sarah Hodgson, Dr Philip Errington of Sotheby’s, Carey Wallace, Dr. Gabriel Heaton of Sotheby’s and Tom Maschler at the private preview, Sotheby’s New York

Left to right: Sarah Hodgson, Dr Philip Errington of Sotheby’s, Carey Wallace, Dr. Gabriel Heaton of Sotheby’s and Tom Maschler at the private preview, Sotheby’s New York

The travelling exhibition at Sotheby’s, London, March 2014.

The travelling exhibition at Sotheby’s, London, March 2014.

Tom Maschler prepares for his talk at the private preview at Sotheby’s NY

Tom Maschler prepares for his talk at the private preview at Sotheby’s NY, 2 June, 2014

The private preview on the 7th floor of Sotheby’s New York

The private preview on the 7th floor of Sotheby’s New York, 2 June, 2014

Tom Maschler giving his talk at Sotheby’s New York, 2 June, 2014

Tom Maschler giving his talk at Sotheby’s New York, 2 June, 2014

Auctioneer, Ben Dollar, conducting the auction, 4 June, 2014

Auctioneer, Ben Dollar, conducting the auction, 2 June, 2014

TM pauses for thought in New York

Tom Maschler pauses for thought during his talk

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Carey Wallace and Sarah Hodgson in New York, 2 June 2014. Photograph courtesy of Ken Shung

The sale on view at Sotheby’s New York

The sale on view at Sotheby’s New York

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