Photo: Courtesy of Sotheby’s
Jose Mugrabi, a multimillionaire art dealer known for owning the world’s largest collection of Andy Warhols, added another work to his trove last night at Sotheby’s contemporary sale last night.He picked up Warhol’s “Double Elvis (Ferus Type)” for $37 million, within its estimated $30 million to $50 range, according to The Wall Street Journal‘s Kelly Crow.
The sale was one of the top three of the evening, which was relatively slow after blockbuster sales at Sotheby’s and Christie’s earlier this week. Roy Lichtenstein’s “Sleeping Girl” went for $44.9 million, and Francis Bacon’s “Figure Writing Reflected in a Mirror” went for the same price.
Mugrabi, 73, is a self-made textile tycoon worth an estimated $795 million, according to global intelligence firm Wealth-X. His 3,000-piece art collection alone, which includes 800 Warhols, is worth an estimated $770 million, according to the firm.
Incredibly, much of that collection is not in museums or on display, but stashed in guarded warehouses in Switzerland and, of all places, Newark, New Jersey, according to a 2009 profile in the New York Times.
Mugrabi, who has homes in New York and Paris and works closely with his two sons, reportedly rotates the collection, which also includes some of Damien Hirst’s more unwieldy creations.
As a private dealer, Mugrabi does not own a gallery but buys and sells dozens of works annually at auctions and through private sales, according to the NYT profile.
While “Double Elvis” was not the most expensive Warhol ever sold at auction (that title goes “Green car Crash (Burning Green Car 1),” sold for $71.1 million at Christie’s in 2007), last night’s $37 million purchase was still a big one for Mugrabi—his family spent around the same amount at auctions in 2010, according to The Art Newspaper.
In 2010 he sold Warhol’s “Men in her Life,” inspired by Elizabeth Taylor, at auction for $63.3 million. It remains the second most expensive Warhol work ever sold at auction.
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