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Elizabeth Taylor’s art collection sold for huge numbers

Three works of art from the late-actress Elizabeth Taylor’s private collection have been sold at auction for a total of £14 million.

The paintings, which make up just a fraction of the collection she inherited from her art-dealer father and added to throughout her life, were sold by Christie’s in New York, with the Van Gogh work Vue de l’asile et de la Chapelle de Saint-Remy fetching the top price, selling at over £10 million. The painting was bought by Francis Taylor for just £92,000 in the 1960s.

Works by Edgar Degas and Claude Pisarro were also on offer at the sale, fetching £17,000 and almost £3 million respectively. The paintings had all been hung at Taylor’s Los Angeles home until her death last year, and auctioneers Christie’s have promised there are many more artistic gems to come from the collection.

Thirty-five more paintings will be on offer to bidders in the second part of the Elizabeth Taylor sale, including works by famous names such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Kees Van Dongen and Maurice Utrillo. The sale also features an impressive collection of paintings by English artist Augustus John, which was given to the Hollywood star by her father.

Marc Porter, chairman of Christie’s Americas, was thrilled with the result of the Taylor sale, reflecting that the impressive figures reflected the excellent taste that both Elizabeth and her father had when it comes to fine art. Porter was particularly pleased that the Van Gogh had sold so well, as he believes it to be the highlight of a fabulous private collection.

Bidding was fierce on the Van Gogh painting, lasting well over four minutes and involving multiple bidders. The work, which is a view from the asylum where the artists spent his final days, was eventually purchased by an anonymous telephone bidder.

Christie’s has already been involved in selling a number of items from Taylor’s estate, including a four-day sale of the actress’ clothing, film memorabilia and jewellery in December, 2011.

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