Lehman Brothers is thought to owe more than $600 billion to its creditors - with makes the total sales of $12 million achieved by Sotheby's New York auction of the fallen financier's art collection seem like a very small dent.
Nevertheless, the auction actually managed to beat all expectations. The top seller among the exclusive lots included a painting by Ethiopian artist Julie Mehretu, Untitled 1, which brought more than $1 million according to the US news network CBS.
Mehretu's success helped make up for the unsold Damien Hirst piece "We've Got Style (The Vessel Collection - Blue/Green)". The work failed to find a buyer willing to match its $800,000 to $1.2 million estimate.
And this isn't the first time that art has proven itself as a good asset for Lehman Brothers. The firm has already had two successful events in Philadelphia and New York, the latter scraping together $1.34m towards the company's debts.
Meanwhile, Christie's is set to hold its own sale of artworks from the Lehman Brothers collection later this week, on September 29. After that, say reports, another sale featuring 250 pieces is scheduled for November 7.
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