Since the world's largest auction house is headquartered in the current Olympic host city, it is none too surprising that Christie's has gotten London 2012 fever. A special one-time exhibition of London-specific items opened on Friday, and will remain on display until September 3, when the entire collection will be auctioned.
Estimates for the works are generally modest, with most expected to sell for less than £10,000 ($15,600), though some are worth up to £200,000 ($311,000). There are Olympic-themed items, like a gold medal from the eight-oared race from the 1908 London Games (est. £5,000-7,000, or $7,600-11,000) and an aluminum torch from the city's second crack at hosting, in 1948 (est. £2,000-3,000, or $3,100-4,500).
However, there are plenty more offerings for the non-sports fans. Several Terry O’Neill photos of famous Londoners, including a 2008 photo of the late Amy Winehouse and a 1963 portrait of Mick Jagger, both of which are estimated to fetch £3,500-4,500 ($5,300-6,800). The Jagger photo inspired O’Neill to write, “Mick's charisma made him the perfect front man. He was captivating, reigning over rock'n'roll with his sexual energy.” (Although ARTINFO would point out that the present tense would be more appropriate concerning Jagger and his sexual energy.)
For the traditionalist, there are also plenty of 19th-century figurative paintings of the city, including the top-estimated “Southwark Bridge and St. Paul’s” (1883), an eerie moonlit depiction of the capital’s skyline, by the British painter John Atkinson Grimshaw. It could hammer down for £150,000-200,000 ($230,000-300,000) according to auction house estimates.
To see photos from Christie's "The London Sale" click on the slide show.