Debt-ridden collector and CNET founder Halsey Minor sold 19 of his 22 piece collection last week at the Phillips de Pury & Company post-war and contemporary art sale. While the total sales figure for the sale tallied in at $37.9 million, $21,049,500 of that figure was contributed by sales from the Hasley Minor Collection.
Overall, 58 of the 74 lots found buyers, earning a sell-through rate of 78 percent by lot and 88 percent by value. Seven of the 58 lots sold for over a million dollars.
Phillips de Pury fought hard for the prize consignment, reportedly giving up a chunk of the buyer’s premium to win the right to sell the much-talked-about merchandise. Its aggressive pursuit of the work seemed to pay off, particularly judging by attendance in the Chelsea space, with major collectors and players — like Stefan Edlis from Chicago, Don Rubellfrom Miami Beach, Lawrence Graff from London, and Peter Brant from Connecticut — watching the action.
In March this year Halsey Minor was instructed by a court order to give up dozens of artworks to satisfy a $21.6 million delinquent loan to ML Private Finance L.L.C., an affiliate of Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch.
While the sale may cover a portion of Minor’s debt, Minor is still under a court order to pay Sotheby’s a further $6.64 million in a dispute over three artworks he had purchased at auction and later refused to pay for.
Richard Prince’s Nurse in Hollywood #4 from Hasley Minor’s collection made the top-lot honors on the night, sold to an anonymous telephone bidder for $6,466,500, making it the most expensive lot on the night, and the 3rd highest price for a Richard Prince painting in an auction. Three works by Ruscha sold for over $500,000, the most notable being Angry Because it’s Plaster, Not Milk, which fetched $3,218,500 making it the second most expensive lot of the night.
ED RUSCHA Angry Because It’s Plaster, Not Milk,” 1965 , SOLD AT $3,218,500
Mr. Brainwash, the star of Banksy’ EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP also had a noteworthy piece included in the sale, his Charlie Chaplin Pink managed to sell well above the $50,000-70,000 pre-sale estimate with the hammer hitting at USD $122,500.
ANDY WARHOL Brillo Soap Pads Box, 1964 SOLD AT $638,500
TAKASHI MURAKAMI Jellyfish Eyes – MAX & Shimon in the Strange Forest, 2004 SOLD AT $530,500