Jeffrey Archer sets his sights on a unique $8m sale at Christie's


Author and former Conservative politician Jeffrey Archer, as we reported in March, is selling off a large collection of highly collectible items at Christie's in London next Monday, June 27.

Among the lots on offer are some unique sporting items, such as the rugby ball used in the 2003 world cup final, which England won, and the stopwatch which recorded Roger Bannister's famous four minute mile in 1954.

Rare pieces of memorabilia like these should certainly attract some large bids because of their famous history.

Archer said he thinks the watch especially, one of just three which were used to authenticate Bannister's monumental achievement, should make up to £100,000 ($159,000). Proceeds from its sale will go to the Oxford University Athletics Club, of which he used to be a member.


Time stood still when Roger Bannister ran his sub-four-minute mile

Also set to sell for a high amount the day after, Tuesday June 28, is an 1878 painting by Claude Monet, which is part of his personal art collection. The canvas, called La Seine près de Vétheuil, temps orageux, is estimated at between £1.2m-1.7m ($1,914,000-2,712,000).

For a painting by Claude Monet, this price would certainly by a steal, as just last month on May 4 another work by him from 1891, Les Peupliers, sold for $20m. The last time it had been up for sale previously was in November 2000, where it reached $7m.

An increase of $13m in roughly 10 years is a sensational return in any context. It just goes to show that art really does provide incredible investment opportunities.


Monet's art is certainly more collectible than ever before

Also going up for sale is an Andy Warhol silkscreen of Marilyn Monroe, which is thought to be worth £100,000 ($159,000).

As well attracting serious investors, tabloid newspapers will probably take notice in the sale too, such is the interest that surrounds Baron Archer of Weston-Super-Mare.

It is hoped the two sales will achieve more than £5m, with many charities expected to benefit, including the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which is chaired by his wife Mary.

Archer, who is also including a first edition of all his books which he hopes will attract Indian buyers - he has a large following there - will chair the auction. Also included is one of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's handbags, which is expected to make an incredible $159,000.


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