Francis Bacon's painting gloves auction for $8,500

The gloves Francis Bacon wore to paint his most valuable artwork have sold for £5,800 ($8,462) this morning, not including buyer's premium.

Bacon, who painted right-handed, wiped his brushes on the two left-handed gloves while producing Three Studies for a Portrait of Lucian Freud in 1969. The colours on the gloves match the artwork exactly.

Francis Bacon gloves
Francis Bacon's gloves sold within estimate this morning

That artwork sold for a then art world record $142.4m in 2013.

The gloves were salvaged from a studio at the Royal College of Art in London, where Bacon painted for several months after his home had been ravaged by fire.

Bateson Mason - a tutor at the college - was cleaning out the studio when he found them.

Mason wrote in a letter to a friend that accompanied the gloves: "These Really ARE Francis Bacon's Painting Gloves! He finished working at our place this morning and amongst the rubbish I actually found them!!! I felt sure they would appeal to you. Yrs. P.S. 2 left hands?"

Jan Leman, from Chiswick Auctions, which sold the gloves, commented: "It is always thrilling to witness any tangible links to the great artists of our time and this is no exception.

"We have already seen great interest from art collectors and museums around the globe, who are keen to attain a keepsake and personal insight into one of the most celebrated British artists of our time."

The sale is a reminder of the value collectors place on prestigious art collectibles, not just the art itself.

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