Smoking Madonna nude photograph up 196.8% on estimate


A nude image of Madonna beat its estimate by 196.8% at Bonhams' Photographs auction in New York yesterday (May 8).


Steven Meisel's Madonna nude
Steven Meisel's Madonna nude

The image went to auction with a pre-sale estimate of just $5,000-8,000. As ever, the singer proved her auction prowess, with the image bringing a total of $23,750.

The 1990 shot shows the singer sporting one of her most iconic looks, complete with bleach blonde hair and classic dark eye make-up. It was taken in the same year as the Blonde Ambition world tour, which was named the greatest concert of the 1990s by Rolling Stone magazine.

The individual behind the lens was Steven Meisel, who produced the photographs for Madonna's 1992 coffee table book, Sex. The book comprised a collection of risqué images and film stills which were released in conjunction with her album, Erotica.

Despite soaring past estimates, the image did not beat the current record for a Madonna nude at auction. That title belongs to an earlier, more revealing shot which appeared in Playboy in 1985. It was sold for $37,500 in 2009 at Christie's.

Madonna memorabilia always sells well at auction and with the PFC40 Autograph Index reporting a 153.3% increase in the value of signed items from 2000-2011, there has never been a better time to invest.

Paul Fraser Collectibles is very pleased to offer its own selection of Madonna items, including this basque worn by the singer during rehearsals for the Girlie Show world tour.

PFC Auctions, our sister company, has this leather cap signed by Madonna, which was also worn during the tour.

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