Bacon-Freud self-portrait set for Christie's on June 27

Francis Bacon's Study for Self-Portrait, which depicts himself and friend Lucian Freud as a single entity, is coming to auction in London on Wednesday, June 27.

It is the only full-length Bacon self-portrait to combine his face with the body of his friend.

Although no estimate has been given by auction house Christie's for the 1964 piece, we believe a figure of £25m is not out of the question, considering the great demand for Bacon's work.

Bacon Freud self portrait
Bacon’s head, Freud’s body

His 1976 Figure Writing Reflected in Mirror sold for $44.9m (£28.7m) at Sotheby's New York in May, up 12.2% on its $40m high estimate, while a triptych of Freud by Bacon made £23m at Sotheby's in February 2011.

Bacon and Freud met in 1945 and painted each other on a number of occasions.

The recent surge for Bacon has been mirrored in the post-war and contemporary art sector as a whole, which witnessed growth of 35% in 2011.

Bacon lovers will also be in attendance at Sotheby's London the previous evening, where a 1980 Study for Self-Portrait will appear, valued at a more modest £5m-7m.

Painted in 1980 and regarded as one of the most stunning of Bacon's self-portraits, it was previously part of the Stanley Seeger collection.

Triptych 1976 remains Bacon's most valuable work. It sold for $86.3m to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich in 2008.

Christie's June 27 auction will also feature an untitled work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, which could well break the US artist's $16.3m world record.

Check out Paul Fraser Collectibles' art investment portfolio here.

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