Microsoft co-founder’s art collection at auction, estimated at over $1 billion

The collection of late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen will be auctioned at a Christie’s sale in New York in November, the auction house said Thursday, which estimates it at more than $1 billion. dollars, which would be an absolute record.

More than 150 works will be offered, including the painting “La montagne Sainte-Victoire” by French painter Paul Cézanne, estimated at more than 100 million dollars, according to a press release.

All proceeds from the sale will be donated to charity, according to Christie’s.

Died of cancer in 2018 at the age of 65, Paul Allen imagined, with Bill Gates, the operating system for personal computers that would make the success of Microsoft, founded in 1975.

He left the group in 1983, due to health problems but also a deteriorated relationship with Bill Gates, who was to remain in charge until 2000.

The current record for private collections was set last spring by American couple Harry and Linda Macklowe, with $922 million in multiple auctions at Sotheby’s.

In addition to the Cézanne, is among the Paul Allen trophies “Small False Start” of the American painter Jasper Johns, estimated at more than 50 million dollars, according to the New York Times.

Christie’s has not communicated on other pieces, but a traveling exhibition mounted in 2016 drawing on Paul Allen’s collection gives a glimpse of its richness.

We would find there paintings by Monet, Manet, Brueghel the younger, Klimt, Hockney or Richter.

With this sale, which follows that of the Macklowe collection and the portrait of Marilyn Monroe “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” by Andy Warhol, which went for 195 million dollars at the beginning of May (record for a work of the 20th century), the year in course could go down as one of the most significant in the history of the art market.

“The character of Paul Allen, a source of inspiration, the extraordinary quality and diversity of the works and the destination of the proceeds of the sale to works create a unique combination that will make the sale of the Paul Allen collection an event of unprecedented magnitude,” commented Christie’s CEO Guillaume Cerutti, quoted in the statement.


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