'No crisis here' say Lehman Bros' creditors after £1.6m art and memorabilia sale

There was chaos at Christie's yesterday thanks to fallen investment banking giants Lehman Brothers. However this time it was of a very different kind.

Gary Hume's Madonna

A unique auction of memorabilia and artwork from the fallen giants was up for sale and the final outcome was very good with a total of £1.6 million raised.

Over a thousand collectors from far and wide flocked to the auctioneer's London base to get their hands on some of the unique and highly collectible pieces on offer.

And these pieces proved very popular, with one particular highlight being a commemorative plaque from the firm's Canary Wharf office which had been opened by Gordon Brown back in 2004.

The piece came up to auction with a pre-sale target price of £1,000 to 1,500, but following an intense bidding war amongst those in attendance, it in fact sold for an astonishing £28,750.

Elsewhere, the Lehman Brothers polished metal corporate sign was auctioned for over £42,000.

The sale also served as a timely reminder of the demise of the banking giants, with second anniversary taking place just three days later.

In fact, the sale further emphasised the continued success of the collectibles market, even as the global financial crisis continues.

This was no better demonstrated than in the sale of a piece entitled "Atomists: Jump over" by Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco which fetched £99,560.

Other art highlights included an etching by Lucien Freud which sold for £28,780 and Gary Hume's Madonna which reached £73,250.

Barry Gilbertson, a partner at PwC, stated after the sale:

"The prices achieved in auction demonstrate just how much interest there is in anything related to the collapse of Lehman Brothers two years ago"

£1,641,613 was raised in total from the sale, with more expected to come from the sale of pieces like photographer Andreas Gursky's "New York Mercantile Exchange" which is up for auction during the October Frieze week at Christie's.


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