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Monday, August 9, 2010

Lehman art pieces to go under the hammer

Lehman art pieces to go under the hammer

By Steve Lodge

Published: August 9 2010 03:39 | Last updated: August 9 2010 03:39

'The Ship Frankfield Off Table Bay' by Samuel Walters
‘The ship Frankfield off Table Bay’ by Samuel Walters

Hundreds of works of art that adorned the offices of Lehman Brothers, the collapsed investment bank – and some of its corporate memorabilia – are to be sold at auction by Christie’s in London next month.

The September 29 sale is expected to raise about £2m. It is timed to be close to the second anniversary of the bank’s downfall in 2008, said PwC, administrators to Lehman’s UK and European arms.

The collection includes modern art – Gary Hume’s Madonna (estimated to sell at £70,000 to £100,000) and a signed etching by Lucian Freud are among the highlights – and works such as The ship Frankfield off Table Bay by Samuel Walters.

Also in the auction is the corporate sign from the bank’s Canary Wharf offices (estimate £2,000 to £3,000) and the commemorative plaque from the 2004 opening of those offices by Gordon Brown, then chancellor of the exchequer (estimate £1,000 to £1,500).

Tea caddies, cigar boxes and Chinese ceramics are also in the sale.

The most valuable piece, Andreas Gursky’s New York Mercantile Exchange 1991 photograph (estimate £100,000 to £150,000) is being sold in a separate auction in October.

The sale proceeds, however, will be tiny in relation to the more than $600bn (£376bn) owed by Lehman at its collapse.

Last week, hedge funds whose money had not been properly ring-fenced when the bank failed won a court ruling in London to share client funds totalling up to $2bn.


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