AUCTIONS

Joan Fontaine ‘Suspicion’ Oscar Auction Stymied by Academy

Joan Fontaine’s historic best actress Oscar for her role in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic “Suspicion,” won’t got to the auction block, because of a threatened lawsuit by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Fontaine, who died a year ago at age 96, specified in her will that her Oscar should be sold to raise funds for the Monterey, California SPCA. It was expected to fetch as much as $300,000, according to an estimate by Christie’s, which was handling the sale....

Francis Bacon’s Dyer Triptych Shatters Auction Record in London

Francis Bacon painted his lover George Dyer with great passion, which may help explain the extraordinary price of a small format Bacon triptych of Dyer that just sold in London for $45 million. The sale was not only an affirmation of Bacon, but also of contemporary art, which continues to set records at auction in London and New York City. Sotheby’s auction grossed $159.3 million in total sales, according to the auction house. ...

John Lennon’s Doodles, Cartoons, Poems Heading for Auction in NYC

John Lennon best known as a world-class musician with The Beatles. was also a world-class doodler and writer. Now some of his non-musical works, including nonsense poems, doodles and comic drawings, are heading for auction in New York City. Lennon produced the material during the 1960s at the height of the band’s fame, when “Beatlemania” was sweeping the world. Publisher Tom Maschler saw Lennon’s drawings and writings in 1962 and convinced him to write and illustrate a book....

Wallace Hartley’s Titanic Violin Fetches $1.5M at London Auction

Wallace Hartley, a second-class passenger on the Titanic, went down with the ship, but the violin he was playing on the night the liner stuck an iceberg survived and was sold at auction over the weekend for a surprisingly titanic sum, $1.5 million. The instrument was recovered in 2006 along with Hartley’s travel bag, which also was auctioned by Henry Aldridge & Son in London. The bag contained the violin and sheet music....

Buyer of $120M Edvard Munch Scream Pastel Revealed

New York billionaire Leon Black spent $120 million in 12 minutes of furious bidding to become the proud owner of one of four copies of Edvard Munch’s masterpiece “The Scream.” TheImproper reported in February that Sotheby’s auction house in New York would sell the painting to the highest bidder in May. It was considered the ultimate prize for collectors of pre-expressionist 19th Century art, or any art for that matter....

Warhol’s Double Elvis (1963) Expected to Fetch $50 Million

Elvis Presley has been worth more dead than he ever was in his lifetime, but the late pop artist Andy Warhol could send the King of Rock through the stratosphere. A Warhol painting of Elvis is expected to fetch an astronomical sum at auction. Presley is garbed in cowboy duds, with a six-gun drawn. Sotheby's described him as "a Hollywood icon of the '60s rather than the rebellious singer who shook the world of music."...

Titanic Treasures, Plus Ship Up for Auction (video)

The unsinkable H.M.S. Titanic struck an iceberg, sunk in just over two hours and lay undisturbed in the North Atlantic seabed for seven decades. Now more than 5,500 artifacts and the ship itself is up for auction in an unprecedented sale. The famous shipwreck, which reaches its centennial this year, yielded fine china, silverware, clothing, diamond jewelry and other personal items, decorative items from the boat, and even pieces of the ship, according to RMS Titanic Inc., a division of Premier Exhibitions....

Oscar Trash Turns Into Treasure; Auction Nets $3M

Meryl Streep, Octavia Spencer and Jean Dujardin all cherished their coveted Oscars at the 84th Annual Academy Awards, but over time, even these statuettes may become unwanted--albeit expensive--junk. Some 15 unwanted Academy Awards were sold at auction this week by Los Angeles auctioneer Nate D. Sanders....

Edvard Munch’s Iconic ‘Scream,’ in Pastels Up For Auction

Edvard Munch's iconic image "The Scream" has been burned into the human psyche as man's primal cry. For a mere $80 million or more, the last privately held copy, one of four created by the artist, can be yours. Sotheby's auction house in New York announced that the work will be sold to the highest bidder in May. It's the ultimate prize for collectors of pre-expressionist 19th Century art, or any art for that matter....