Attenborough's paintings double estimates

Sotheby's have completed their auction of Sir Richard Attenborough's art collection, which we reported on a while back.

The £2m estimate was smashed on the day with an excited bidding crowd, which bought every lot. There was a memorabilia side to the sale - people were bidding partly for a piece of the much loved Oscar winner - the only actor to win an Oscar for best director.

Perhaps reflecting this, two records were broken for art works by a particular artist: Keith Vaughan's Theseus and the Minotaur (£313,000) and Christopher Nevinson's The Battlefields of Britain (£217,000).

Leading the way however was L S Lowry's Old Houses. This was already expected to be the biggest seller, listed at £300,000-500,000, but the little skinny men trampled all over that to sell for £881,000.

L S Lowry Old Houses
L S Lowry's Old Houses
One work of particular significance to Attenborough - and memorabilia collectors - is the paintingCard Players by Christopher Wood which tripled a valuation of £30,000-50,000 to be taken away for £121,000.

Attenborough had already sold the work once, when finding himself short of funds following the filming of classic Gandhi. The 1982 film won him the Oscar for Best Director (not to mention winning awards for Best Picture, Best Actor and five others).

Sir Richard bought the painting back at the very first opportunity in 1985, for £8,000.

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