Artworks that used to adorn the walls and halls of Lehman Brothers’ offices in London is up for auction. They are expecting it to fetch at least 2 million pounds.
So, who wants to bid on bankrupt company’s artworks ? I think the reason that the company failed itself is going to propel the auction. The artworks are going to become some kind of relics of Lehman Brothers. But there is more to it then just the Lehman connection. Lehman Brothers was started in 1870, and they liked to adorn their office hallways with 19th century artworks.
Lehman Brothers are also to be remembered as the first company to fall for the Recession of 2008.
The artworks are expected to be auctioned off on Wednesday. Christie’s auction house in London is selling the art, which includes works by Lucian Freud and Anthony Gormley, antique maps and surveys, Chinese ceramics, and even Lehman Brothers’ signs.
A separate sale of Lehman Brothers’ artwork from their North American offices, due to take place at Sotheby’s in New York on Sunday, was estimated to bring more than $10 million, according to the auction house.
Christie’s said there are many people who may like to own art with a Lehman connection.
“We look forward to presenting what is a fascinating glimpse into the history of what was a giant of the financial world,” said Benjamin Clark, director of corporate collections at Christie’s London.
Modern art includes “Madonna” by Gary Hume, once described by the Guardian newspaper as “disconcertingly featureless,” and estimated between 70,000 and 100,000 pounds ($110,240 and $157,000). Two etchings by Lucian Freud are also up for sale.
Lehman Brothers’ corporate signs, including a plaque commemorating then-Chancellor Gordon Brown’s opening of the European headquarters in 2004, estimated at 1,000 to 1,500 pounds ($1,566 to $2,349), are also available.
“The brothers Lehman collected artwork which adorned their offices since the 19th century,” Gilbertson said. “Over the subsequent years, of course, as the business expanded and the leadership changed, so did their corporate taste in art.”