Christie's to auction bankrupt Lehman Brothers' $3m art collection

The global financial services firm Lehman Brothers used to give important guests a tour of the rare, historic and expensive artworks lining the walls of its headquarters in Canary Wharf, London.

Fast-forward to the present day, almost two years after the company became the biggest victim of the global economic crisis, and those same artworks are set to auction at Christie's, next month.

Scheduled to take place in South Kensington, London on Wednesday September 29, it's hoped that the auction will raise £2m (over $3m) toward the more than $600bn (£376bn) owed to Lehman's creditors.

Among the sale's many highlights is a photo etching by Lucian Freud, Head of Bruce Bernard, expected to sell for £12,000 ($19,127).

Lehman Brothers' New York headquarters in Times Square, today
owned by Barclays

Meanwhile, Thomas Luny's A Frigate in 3 Positions off the Dover Coast will appear from Lehman's Old Masters collection, along with modern works including British artist Gary Hume's Madonna (estimated at £70,000-100,000, $111,573-159,390).

And collectors won't only have a chance to acquire historic and modern artworks: memorabilia among the lots includes Lehman's corporate sign from its Canary Wharf offices (£2,000-3,000, $3,188-4,782).

The sign will auction with cigar boxes, tea caddies, Chinese ceramics and other ephemera from the financier's offices, all of which is hoped to strike a chord with collectors and investors.

According to reports, this auction will be followed-up by the sale of Andreas Gursky's photograph, New York Mercantile Exchange, in October (£100,000-150,000, $159,390-239,085).

Watch this space for more news on Christie's sale.


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