Saturday, July 27, 2013

Hold onto those cleaning rags everyone, don’t throw out that gas axe and polish up the Rolleiflex. It turns out there’s gold in used artist equipment. Well some artists, Francis Bacon to be exact. A butter bean can bristling with eight of Bacon’s brushes is going up for auction at Christie's. 

The Bacon brushes will be fighting it out with other oddities including a bear skeleton, a large bell used in the Titanic movie A night to remember, a stuffed ostrich and a couple of chairs carved with buffalo heads. Christie's are estimating a hammer price of $47,000 for the brush-can combo although that’s peanuts compared to what it might achieve if it were an artwork. 

Jasper Johns himself owns his 1960 sculpture Painted bronze depicting 14 brushes in a Savarin coffee can so its market value probably won't be tested anytime soon. However, if it ever is, you can forget about tens of thousands, we'll be talking millions. Hmmm… maybe those cleaning rags are best left for cleaning after all.
Images: left, the Bacon bushes on the block and right Jasper Johns Painted bronze