Will Sotheby’s $80-Million Warhol Break Auction Record?


The seasonal battle for trophies between New York’s two main auction houses is on, with both Christie’s and Sotheby’s offering works by Pop master Andy Warhol. Sotheby’s will offer Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster), 1963, a 13-foot-wide, two-panel painting, at its Nov. 13 postwar and contemporary art auction.

Sotheby’s expects the work to fetch as much as $80 million, auctioneer Tobias Meyer told the New York Times. The left panel holds a grid of 15 identical grisly black-and-white images of the aftermath of a car crash; the right, a gaping metallic void evoking the silver screen.

Warhol’s current auction record is $71.7 million, set at Christie’s New York in 2007 by Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I), also 1963.

Silver Car Crash
is the only “car crash” painting in private hands, according to the auction house, and has been in the same collection for 25 years. Before coming to the unnamed European seller, it passed through the collections of German industrialist Gunter Sachs, British collector Charles Saatchi, and Swiss dealer Thomas Ammann, giving it a distinguished provenance.

The news from Sotheby’s follows by two days Christie’s announcement that it is offering a painting of a Coke bottle by the Pop master from 1962 that it expects may bring $60 million